Missing Park City skier found dead in avalanche field

Stephen Jones dies in avalanche
Despite extensive backcountry experience, Jones (above) perished after being swept up in a backcountry avalanche Sunday near Park City. Photo: Courtesy of Stephen Jones
The body of a skier who went missing while backcountry skiing Sunday near the Park City Mountain Resort in Utah was found buried in an avalanche field around 2 p.m. local time on Tuesday.

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.

RELATED: One dead, another injured in avalanche near Mount Baker

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.

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.

RELATED: Utah skier dies in state’s first fatal avalanche of the season

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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