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Regional News

Snowboarder collides with moose

Grumpy Moose
Dan Joling/AP
/
AP
A rare collision between a moose and snowboarder happened just above the Super Condor chairlift at Park City Mountain Resort Tuesday.

A snowboarder who collided with a moose at Park City Mountain Resort is reportedly OK after being knocked unconscious and taken to the hospital.

With the opening of the Super Condor chairlift last Tuesday, Pam Nelson was skiing down the Echo run when she heard warnings and calls for help.

All of a sudden, there was a lot of skiers and snowboarders and then someone was running like crazy up towards me, up the gully and I could hear people, somebody, screaming ‘out of the way, out of the way,’ and someone else screaming for ski patrol,” Nelson explained. “And then I realized that it was a moose. So, I hurried and pulled off over by the trees and everyone was pretty good at getting out of the way. And he was all puffed up and running and then he went off into the trees and then as we skied down towards the Condor lift, we saw this young snowboarder flat on his back, people holding his head and his lenses from his goggles had been knocked out and they were across the ski run and people just screaming for ski patrol and then the snowmobile was coming up the hill. And that's pretty much what we saw.”

Nelson says the moose was visibly stressed as it ran up the ski trail, past her and then into the trees. She says moose are frequently seen in the area.

“Oh, yeah, we've seen moose down there a lot,” Nelson said. “Not right on that spot. We've seen the moose when we come up the orange bubble. We can see them sunning, laying in there and we’ve seen them more in that area. I've never seen them before in this exact spot, but it's not too far away from where we've seen them.”

Nelson posted her experience on social media inquiring about the status of the young man who had collided with the moose. A man who identified himself as an employee of Mountain Safety Patrol said he wasn’t at the scene but had heard from ski patrol that the young man was knocked unconscious and was brought down to the base clinic for evaluation. Due to lingering issues, he was transferred to the hospital.

Summit County Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Wright says because the resort is on private property, the incident was handled exclusively by ski patrol who have medical staff on site.

“When ski patrols handles, because they have their own medical staff, if they need an ambulance, Wright said, “they will contact our office and just request one without really any information, just say we need a transport...and so that's possible that that would have come through, but our dispatch center didn't have any details other than they heard through the grapevine that that happened, but we did not send anyone.”

Wright added that the sheriff’s office will respond to a ski area if a death occurs in order to do an investigation or if something criminal happens, such as an assault. But if it’s just someone who in injured at the resort, he said, the resort handles those cases internally.

In an email responding to KPCW’s request for comment, Park City Mountain Resort spokeswoman Jessica Miller said the safety of the resort’s guests is their top priority. She confirmed that ski patrol responded to reports of a moose collision but didn’t have any additional details to share.