Craig Patterson with the UDOT Avalanche Center died after an avalanche buried him while he was patrolling Kessler Peak in Big Cottonwood canyon.
"He was really a positive person, considerate person, smart, (and) highly motivated,” says Liam Fitzgerald with the UDOT Avalanche Center.
But Thursday Patterson's life was cut short while doing the job he loved.
“It starts out with love of mountains and an attraction to the challenge that avalanche forecasting and making it safe for other people,” says Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald is Patterson's supervisor. Both work in UDOT’s avalanche forecasting center.
The group patrols the snowy mountains to gauge the potential for avalanches.
Patterson went alone, the forecast called for a moderately-dangerous situation for an avalanche.
“When we are travelling alone, we conduct ourselves in a much different manner than when you do travelling with a team of people,” says Fitzgerald.
But the sudden avalanche caught Patterson. Rescuers say it wasn't very deep but carried a lot of snow.
Patterson managed to set off his beacon and deploy his airbag but it wasn't enough.
“By the time they (rescuers) identified him, he was on the surface of all the debris members of his team saw him,” says Adon Carrillo a spokesman for UDOT.
It's been a difficult day for his colleagues who today climbed Kessler peak to learn more about Patterson's final run.
“It does put it into perspective and I think all of us there's the work that we do there are risks involved.
Patterson who worked in the avalanche center for seven years, leaves behind a wife and young daughter.