EDEN, Utah - A snowboarder had a close call after getting caught in an avalanche at Powder Mountain Resort on Monday, and caught it all on camera.
Garret Hunting said he went up to the mountain to take advantage of all the fresh powder.
“I was really stoked to get up there because I knew we had just gotten 30-plus inches in the mountains,” Hunting told KSTU.
But his day quickly went downhill when he got to his favorite spot - because of all the new snow and very windy conditions, it didn’t look quite right.
“I knew it looked a little sketchy but there’s only one way down once you get to a certain point,” Hunting said.
So Hunting pointed his board downhill and his friend followed.
“Right here you can see my friend Brinton and you can see the crack where it breaks away,” Hunting said, describing the video of the avalanche. “Everything slows down at that point, everything flashes before your eyes. I literally took my last breath, put my hand to my face just in case I did get buried, and I could maybe punch myself an airbox or something.”
Hunting did everything he could to keep his head above the snow, and when the slide finally stopped he could barely move.
“Right here I’m buried up to my armpits so I had to dig myself out,” Hunting said.
After seeing all the snow above him and below him, Hunting felt lucky to be alive.
“If I were up higher on the mountain, I might not be talking to you right now,” Hunting said.
Powder Mountain Resort says they're grateful no one was hurt. After the avalanche, they sent crews up there and found this was the smallest possible rating for an avalanche but it's also an area where they don't see many problems. They say it's a reminder that avalanches can happen anywhere and to always be prepared.
Here is the full response from Powder Mountain Resort:
"First of all, we're very happy to see that Garret was uninjured in this incident. The Powder Mountain Snow Safety team did avalanche mitigation in over 60 avalanche paths all over Powder Mountain yesterday with 25" of new snow and high winds. This avalanche classification SS-AI-D.5-R1 which is the smallest possible rating for an avalanche. This specific area has a small rollover with no terrain traps and is a non suspect area. The debris pile was less than 1' deep. The crown (break size) was less than 10". The overall affected area was about 60' wide and 70' long. We're proud to have a very competent snow safety team at Powder Mountain, encompassing years of knowledge. That said, avalanches and incidents can happen in-bounds and skiers and snowboarders should always be aware of their environment and proceed safely."