KETCHUM, Idaho -- A 50-year-old snowboarder was injured after being partially buried by an avalanche Thursday while riding out-of-bounds in the Sun Valley area.
The Sun Valley Ski Patrol responded to a rescue call on the back side of Bald Mountain at 12:17 p.m.
Authorities say David Hattula from Belleuvue, Idaho was found partially buried in a tree well just before 1 p.m.
The area in question is near the ski run "Double Ott Shoots," above Boise Lane in the Lower Board Ranch subdivision of Warm Springs.
Hattula was transported by toboggan to the Upper Grey Hawk parking lot where rescuers were met by an ambulance at approximately 2:20 p.m.
The 50-year-old was taken by ambulance to the nearby St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center. The sheriff says he suffered facial lacerations, and possible femur, cervical, pelvic and clavicle injuries.
“Given the seriousness of the avalanche conditions, we were extremely fortunate to have a successful outcome," said Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey. "It was a very dangerous situation for our first responders. The backcountry is extremely unstable and will remain so at least through the weekend. We strongly encourage people to stay out of avalanche areas.”
Authorities believe the avalanche was triggered by Hattula, who was snowboarding alone out of bounds. The sheriff's office in investigating this as a possible out of bounds skiing violation.