Crews recover body of man buried in Utah avalanche


SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah (KTVX) — Rescue crews on Sunday recovered the body of the man who was left buried overnight in Saturday’s avalanche.

The man is identified as 57-year-old Kurt Damschroder of Park City, Utah. 

On Jan. 30, at 3:26 p.m., the Summit County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an avalanche in the backcountry in an area known as Square Top. This area is located outside resort boundaries near Park City Mountain Canyons Village.

According to officials, the avalanche was triggered by two skiers, one of the skiers being Damschroder, who, unfortunately, became caught in it.

Officers also said Damschroder did have an avalanche safety kit on hand and immediately issued an avalanche beacon. The other skier was able to locate Damschroder and immediately began attempting lifesaving efforts for more than an hour.

“It sounds like there is a hole where the friend dug down to that skier and attempted lifesaving efforts,” said Lt. Andrew Wright with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

But as night began to fall and conditions began to worsen, the friend stopped and went out to seek help from authorities.

The skier was able to make his way down the mountain and alert law enforcement of what happened.

According to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, search and rescue teams were not able to scale the mountain and recover the victim due to the lack of sunlight and the mountain’s unstable and dangerous conditions.

Wright says the lack of sunlight, the amount of snow, and the unstable conditions made for a deadly mix.

On Jan. 31, crews arrived back to the scene at 7:00 a.m., Sunday morning in hopes of locating the victim.

“PCFD assisting SCSO and SAR in resuming rescue operations this morning at the avalanche site,” writes the Park City Fire District Sunday. “Please remember to use extreme caution when entering the backcountry. Check avalanche conditions at the Utah Avalanche Center, avoid areas where there is avalanche danger, and always be prepared with proper equipment.”

After completing avalanche mitigation work, responders were able to get into the avalanche zone and recovered Kurt’s body, according to official reports.

“The Summit County Sheriff’s Office and Summit County Search & Rescue offer our most sincere condolences to Kurt’s girlfriend, family, and friends,” shares the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. “The family has requested privacy while they mourn the loss of their beloved Kurt.”

Kurt Damschroder was a long-time resident of Park City and loved to spend his time outdoors. 

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