Avalanche Forecaster Killed in Utah Avalanche

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  1. The Scarlet Pimp

    The Scarlet Pimp Senior Member

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    An avalanche sloughing off a Utah mountainside killed a state Department of Transportation avalanche forecaster while he was surveying snow levels near a popular winter recreation area, authorities reported.

    A co-worker last heard from 34-year-old Craig Patterson about 1:30 p.m. on Thursday. When the Park City man didn?t come home from work, his family began to worry, said Justin Hoyal, a lieutenant with the Unified Police of Greater Salt Lake.

    Authorities got the call about 7:30 p.m., just before dark, Hoyal said. Searchers in a helicopter dispatched to the area quickly found Patterson, and a crew on snowmobiles was able to retrieve his body about 1 a.m. Friday.

    Patterson was on the east face of Cardiff Fork in Big Cottonwood Canyon in Utah's famous Wasatch Range. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road is a 16 mile-long state highway linking the Salt Lake City area with two popular ski resorts.

    "It's a sad, tragic accident," Hoyal said. "He was up there checking snow to keep people on the highways safe."

    Officials with the Utah Department of Transportation described Patterson as a consummate skier and mountaineer, who had taught others how to survive avalanches.

    http://www.capitalbay.com/headline/...nche-forecaster-killed-in-utah-avalanche.html