Utah has seen a high amount of avalanches lately, one of which, tragically took the lives four skiers this past weekend. But in another part of the state, a handful of snowmobilers had their own terrifying experience with one as well.
Miles Penrose and some friends were snowmobiling in the Uinta Mountains when they felt the ground rumble underneath them.
They could see the massive wave of snow barreling towards them. Mike pulled his avalanche chute, but it didn’t open and he was swallowed up in seconds. Thankfully he was able get himself out, hear his brother’s cries for help, and dig him out as well.
Here’s the full story:
“Today we were riding in the Uintahs, the snow was great up high and it was finally feeling like we had some base. I have been riding sleds in this particular area since I was 8 years old. I am very familiar with the area. My brother and I were playing on the side of a hill in the a tree area where have have ridden 30-40 times in years past. We had 3 other friends and one younger below in the flats.
As I finished recording my brother playing in the pow, the mountain shook. My original thought was… earthquake. Than it it me, avalanche. As I turned and looked up I could see the snow wave coming. My brothers back was turned and I screamed avalanche as loud as I could. Now here comes my mistake #1.
I pulled my klim avalanche backpack and boom, nothing happened. I hadn’t turned it on. A second later the snow hit and the swimming started. Somehow I only moved about 20 yards and stayed on top of the snow (MIRACLE). Only being buried to my lower chest I dug myself out. My little brothers sled was running and I could hear the yelling on the radio. I could hear someone in the trees, but I couldn’t figure out where. I ran to my brothers sled and turned it off. I now could hear him screaming my name.
Mistake #2 had I not been able to hear his voice I would of been lost. My beacon, probe, and shovel were all in my backpack but I would of had no clue what to do first. Let me tell you There is no worse feeling than having your little brother buried. I followed his voice and saw the top of his black helmet and his voice and started digging. About 60 seconds later I had his face uncovered. He was okay. Than came the radio chatter, where is everyone at? Was everyone okay? We didn’t realize it but the avalanche had also triggered even bigger on the other side of trees where we were. My youngest brother was able to out run it so was one of our other friends. Our 2 other friends both got hit with the wave on the FLATS. Craig and his sled were both buried. Craig got his shoot off in time, which ultimately probably saved his life. The person filming (Nate) was buried to about his face and somehow was able to hold on to his phone.”