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Five people killed in Western avalanches
AP - 6.35 a.m. ET (1133 GMT) January 19, 1998
Another snowmobiler died Sunday afternoon in Summit County west of Salt Lake City. Four friends located Damon Vernon, 21, under the slide and dug him out, but couldn't revive him.
Karl Birkeland, director of the Gallatin National Forest avalanche center in Bozeman, said that because the winter began mildly, an unstable layer is under later heavy snows.
"It's kind of like having a house of cards propping up a snowpack,'' he said. "When the house of cards falls, the legs go out from under it and the snowbank starts tumbling.''