Avalanche in Providence Canyon

A LifeFlight medical helicopter lands in the parking lot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 355 N. Canyon Road in Providence. The helicopter was called in to assist in the rescue of a snowmobile victim caught in an avalanche on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014.

LOGAN — A local snowmobiler had only minor injuries after being caught in an avalanche, Tuesday afternoon in Providence Canyon.

Cache County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Peterson said the snowmobiler was with a group, riding near the Rodeo Grounds area three miles up the canyon.

According to the Utah Avalanche Center, the victim was identified as 28-year-old Travis Jacobsen. Peterson said the others in Jacobsen’s group witnessed the avalanche and were able to quickly locate him. He was buried under two-feet of snow. Another snowmobiler was caught in the slide but was not buried.

Jacobsen was reportedly unconscious after being dug out and had to be resuscitated. The members of his group were able to quickly locate him because he was wearing a beacon. He had also been wearing an avalanche airbag but was unable to deploy it because the avalanche engulfed him so quickly. 

One of the other snowmobilers in the group was able to call 911 and report the avalanche. Cache County Search and Rescue and a medical helicopter were both dispatched to the scene.

Peterson said the medical helicopter was able to locate the group and touch down briefly. The snow was unstable in the area so the helicopter flew back to Providence, landing in a church parking lot at 355 North Canyon Road.

Peterson said the snowmobilers were able to move Jacobsen to an area, 300 yards away from the slide. The medical helicopter was able to return and land but by then, he had regained consciousness and declined medical treatment.

Search and Rescue deputies arrived and checked Jacobsen for injuries. They transported him out to a command post that was set up at the Providence Canyon parking lot.

Peterson said deputies reported the avalanche was in a steep area and caused half the sloop to move. The Utah Avalanche Center said the avalanche was 300′ feet wide and approximately three-feet-deep.

Peterson said it was “pretty significant,” and the snowmobiler was lucky that he was not injured more severely.

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