Snowboarder rescued from avalanche in Sierra backcountry

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SODA SPRINGS, Calif. (KTXL) — A snowboarder survived an avalanche in the Sierra Monday, according to the Sierra Avalanche Center.

Owen Porter and his brother, Elliot, were at Boreal Mountain Resort with their snowboarding team Wednesday.

“All the great snow. We got a course set up,” Porter told FOX40.

With the U.S. Forest Service reporting moderate avalanche danger for the area, Porter said it’s always safer to come out to a resort.

“On Boreal’s course it’s pretty small and they don’t get that much built up,” Porter explained. “But when you go on backcountry you got to stay safe, got to keep a radio, got to keep a shovel, a buddy.”

The Sierra Avalanche Center said a snowboarder was caught in an avalanche in the backcountry area of Castle Peak.

Its report says the rider was trapped under the snow for four minutes before he was found buried face down and unconscious. Others in his group were able to save him.

The avalanche was triggered when he — being the last snowboarder in his group — went down-slope.

But staff at Boreal said they always check for any warning signs and dangers prior to letting the public on the trails.

“We have a professional ski patrol that every morning before the public goes up, they go up and look at the areas that could have potential avalanches,” said Ron Sylvia with the resort.

As snow season kicks off, snowboarders and staff have issued a warning for those preparing to hit the slopes.

“Snowmobiling, all those, can affect the avalanches and you need to consider what the warnings are,” Sylvia said.

Those headed to the Sierra should make sure they come prepared and check to see what areas may have avalanche warnings.

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