Stephen Jones, a 50-year-old experienced skier and hiker from Wanship, Utah, left his house early Sunday morning to go backcountry skiing, armed with an avalanche beacon and emergency supplies. When he failed to return by 9 p.m., his family reported him missing to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
After finding his car in the Canyons Village parking lot at the Park City resort, search and rescue teams combed the nearby area for his body Sunday night and all day Monday. Sheriff Justin Martinez announced via Twitter on Tuesday that Jones had been involved in an avalanche.
SAR has confirmed Mr. Stephen Jones has been located- involved in an avalanche. More details to come.
— Sheriff J. Martinez (@SummitCountySO) February 2, 2016
Upon recovering his body buried under roughly three feet of snow in a backcountry area known as Shale Shot, police confirmed that Jones was killed after being swept up in an avalanche that measured 60 feet wide and 500 feet long.
The Salt Lake Tribune has reported that this is the second avalanche death in Utah so far this year. Jones’ passing comes on the heels of the deadliest month of January for avalanches in the United States in nearly 20 years.
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