Avalanche injures skier near Sun Valley

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avalanche

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KETCHUM, Idaho (AP) _ Officials say a skier was badly injured when he was caught in an avalanche in central Idaho on Monday afternoon.

Sawtooth Avalanche Center Director Scott Savage says the man was skiing on U.S. Forest Service land when he was caught by the slide and carried about 450 feet. Savage says the man struck a tree and sustained serious chest and internal injuries, and was almost completely buried in the snow. A companion spotted his hand and part of his leg and quickly dug the man out, The Times-News newspaper in Twin Falls reported (http://bit.ly/1O39RdY).

The avalanche was about 120 feet wide and traveled about 1,300 vertical feet, and the skier was caught near the bottom of the slide. Savage said the avalanche was likely triggered by the victim or by someone skiing above him. The region is known as “Baldy out of Bounds” because it’s on the Bald Mountain but outside the boundaries of the Sun Valley ski resort.

Avalanche danger in the area was rated “high” at the time of the accident, and officials say human-triggered avalanches continue to be likely in the area.