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Snowboarder is killed in Snowbird avalanche

SHARE Snowboarder is killed in Snowbird avalanche

A 21-year-old snowboarder was killed after he was buried by 2 feet of snow in an avalanche Saturday.

Searchers found Jeff Clement, 21, buried on Mount Baldy at Snowbird. He was dead when rescue crews got to him. Weather conditions, including wind gusts up to 75 mph, prevented efforts to remove the body. Crews left markers and will attempt to remove the body Sunday if conditions improve.Suzanne Tremblay, also in her 20s, was seriously injured in the slide, Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Steven Chard said. She was in stable condition at Alta View Hospital late Saturday.

"She's doing OK," a nursing supervisor said. "We just want to watch her for 12 to 24 hours to make sure."

The two were snowboarding with two other men and a woman when the avalanche started about 12:30 p.m., Chard said. The group was descending Mount Baldy at Snowbird when about 500 vertical feet of snow broke loose and swept up the snow-boarders as the avalanche rushed down the mountain of cliffs and exposed rocks.

The falling snow "It was awfully lucky for any of them to survive," Sheriff's Lt. Lane Larkin said.

Two of the snowboarders were not completely buried and were able to dig themselves free, Larkin said. They made it to a lodge at Snowbird and called for help.

The other snowboarders were identified as Justin E. Kihell, Sean Mceeigh and Nicole Auletta. The five apparently moved to Utah from the East Coast about a month ago, authorities said.

The snowboarders started out at the Alta ski resort and made their way to Snowbird. The group ignored no trespassing signs and posted warnings of avalanche danger as they hiked into Snowbird, Chard said.

Neither resort is open, so no avalanche control has been done. Authorities are urging recreationists to stay away from the slopes - calling conditions "extremely dangerous" - until the resorts open.

Authorities estimate the avalanche covered an area about 500 feet long, between 20 and 30 feet wide and up to 3 feet deep.