|Originally posted by Xdog:
Why not save the bears some hassle and cut and paste?
ok.Hunt Continues for 3 Snowboarders in Utah
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: December 27, 2003
PROVO, Utah (AP) -- A helicopter crew dropped explosives on a mountainside Saturday to break up potential snow slides so search teams could safely resume looking for at least three snowboarders feared dead in an avalanche.
The search had been called off Friday night because conditions were too dangerous, with loose snow still trickling downhill and masses of snow clinging to slopes above the search area. Explosive charges were dropped from a helicopter Saturday morning to trigger controlled avalanches.
Before searchers on the ground could be sent back in, the helicopter crew flew over the area again to determine if the avalanche threat had been eased.
``We've been informed that it's more of a recovery effort at this point, but we're still holding out hope that by some miracle we'll find one of them alive,'' Utah County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Dennis Harris said Saturday morning.
Two other snowboarders who had been with the missing men when an avalanche hit Friday in Provo Canyon, about 25 miles northeast of Provo, managed to dig their way out after being buried up to their chests.
One of the survivors -- ages 18 and 20 -- was hospitalized with a leg injury, Utah County sheriff Jim Tracy said. The two Utah County men refused to speak to reporters.
Witnesses reported seeing at least two other groups of skiers, but that had not been confirmed, Tracy said.
A snowshoer reported the avalanche Friday afternoon in the Aspen Grove area of Provo Canyon, about a mile north of Sundance ski resort, said Utah County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Dennis Harris. The area is considered backcountry and has no avalanche control.
There were three avalanches in succession, Tracy said. The first swept the five snowboarders a half mile down a narrow chute above Aspen Grove. Snow piled up 4- to 14- feet deep at the bottom of the slide, which Tracy said was about three city blocks wide.
The two slides that followed were smaller, he said.
The avalanche hit near the end of a storm that dumped 29 inches of snow in the Sundance area in 24 hours, according to the National Weather Service.
It appeared the main avalanche broke away at the top of the chute and that none of the skiers or snowboarders appeared to have triggered it, Tracy said.
None of the snowboarders carried standard avalanche safety equipment such as radio transmitters, shovels or probe poles, Tracy said.