A Nibley boy was in critical but stable condition Monday after he broke his neck Christmas Eve in a skiing accident at Snowbasin resort near Ogden.

Jason McPhie, 17, remained in intensive care at McKay-Dee Hospital, a nursing supervisor said. Family members said surgery was scheduled for Tuesday.McPhie, Jon Stowers and two other friends, all juniors at Mountain Crest High School in Hyrum, had been skiing since 9:30 a.m. Friday when McPhie struck a rock about 2:12 p.m., Stowers told the Deseret News.

"He hit a rock and it sent him into orbit," he said. "We'd hit rocks on every run." Snowbasin officials said the run was closed when McPhie was injured, but Stowers said he and the other boys saw no evidence of any closure notice on that particular run when they started down. Authorities later told them they should have seen ropes cordoning off the run, but Stowers said they didn't see any ropes.

McPhie's 18-year-old sister, Heather, reported her brother can't speak but appears to recognize family members.

"He can open his eyes, and I think he can understand what you're saying," she said. "They were just skiing down. His buddies said there were so many rocks."

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The run remained closed Monday, said Kent Matthews, Snowbasin mountain manager.

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