Welcome back to KSL Outdoors. Pictures and memories are all that twin brothers Kevin and Darin Noorda have left of their older brother Ryan who died in a avalanche last March while on a family snowmobiling trip.
(Kevin Noorda, Brother died in an avalanche) We went snowmobiled all day long and my dad got tired and said he was ready to go home and my brothers boy was ready to go back to the trailer, back to the camper.
Kevin and his brother Ryan decided to make one last ride before calling it a day. That’s when the worst thing imaginable happened.
(Kevin) As he went up the hill and turned and I came up the hill onto the next little saddle. I could see above him, that the snow broke.
(Kevin) As the snow broke, I turned out of it and waved him to come down and kind of marked where he was at and then I took off down the hill and I could feel the avalanche hitting me from behind. I could feel it on my back and when I felt that I just instinctively punched the throttle and down the hill I went.
Kevin escaped the slide, but Ryan was no where to be seen. Both brothers were wearing avalanche rescue gear, but now Kevin was all alone.
(kevin Noorda) I finally got down there and finally found him. It had to of been 20-30 minutes.
(Kevin Noorda) and I pulled his helmut off and some air was coming out of him so I tried to do some CPR on him.
(Kevin Noorda) and probably about 15-20 minutes of doing that I realized that this just isn’t going to work, that my brother had passed away.
Craig Gordon with the Utah Avalanche Center went to the site to investigate the 200 foot wide, four feet deep avalanche.
(Craig Gordon) We are at the flank of this avalanche and it’s not like it’s super deep right here. Really just a couple of feet deep, but the problem is, there is some strong cohesive snow right here, but what it’s resting on, my gosh. Look at this garbage, weak sugary snow near the ground.
(Darin Noorda) and when that phone call comes in and here’s your father saying go tell your mother and go tell your brothers wife. There’s no words to describe that process and you sit back. Why did you have to climb that hill on last time. (K) lot of hurt, lot of hurt.
(Darin) We’ll never own another snowmobile. It’s made that impression to where…you know.
Kevin and Darin hope that those who still decide to go into the back country will think of their brother, before they head out.
(Darin) We know technology is going to get better and better and machines are going to get more aggressive, but it’s going to be the know how here (points to brain) to say you know. (Kevin) maybe we shouldn’t. (Darin) not today. (Kevin) yeah, not today. (Darin) let’s go play in the trees over here. (Kevin) you almost have to change your riding style. Your approach of how you ride. There really are no safe hill to hit, but there are safer hills than other hills.
(Kevin) We were average guys that have grown up on them, but we weren’t any extremist that push the limits. It will happen to anybody. If you are on a mountain that is steep enough to slide. It can happen to you.
Time now to check out this weeks Utah Field Guide brought to you by our friends at Community Lending Group.