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Snowboarder triggers avalanche near Canyons Ski Resort

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 19 2012 4:40 p.m. MST

SUMMIT COUNTY — A snowboarder triggered a large avalanche in the Dutch Draw area Wednesday afternoon.

Search and rescue crews determined no one was caught in the slide or injured. But Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmonds said it was an all too familiar scene for emergency officials.

"Unfortunately, that has been a deadly area," Edmonds said. "We've had a number of fatalities."

Witnesses said there were nine people in the area at the time of the slide and everyone was accounted for. Nevertheless, search and rescue teams conducted a search with probes and dogs to make sure no one had been buried in the large slide.

The Dutch Draw region is a popular backcountry ski and snowboard area just outside the boundaries of The Canyons Ski Resort. Despite the area being roped off and numerous warnings posted — including one with a skull and crossbones — search and rescue crews seem to be called to the area each year.

"It's an area we're always concerned about," Edmonds said. "There's no avalanche control that goes on there. It's clearly out of bounds. If you go up there, you do so at your own peril, and everybody knows that."

In February, a 24-year-old snowboarder was killed in an avalanche in the Dutch Draw area. In 2005, an avalanche in that area claimed a 27-year-old man from Sandpoint, Idaho.

The Utah Avalanche Center reported backcountry conditions would remain dangerous Thursday.

Pat Reavy, Jed Boal

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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