Avalanche at Washington state ski resort kills 1, traps 5

Dec 11, 2021, 3:09 PM | Updated: 6:48 pm

SEATTLE (AP) — An avalanche swept through part of a Washington state ski resort used to access backcountry skiing on Saturday, killing a 60-year-old man and temporarily trapping five others.

The avalanche was reported about 10:50 a.m. in the Silver Basin area of Crystal Mountain, which is located about 85 miles (137 kilometers) southeast of Seattle, said Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Darren Moss.

The identity of the man who died hasn’t been released, but authorities say he wasn’t breathing after being pulled out of the snow and didn’t survive despite CPR efforts by another skier. The other skiers in his group rescued themselves with the help of two witnesses who saw them get swept up by the snow. All were wearing avalanche beacons.

While all of those caught in the avalanche were experienced backcountry skiers, a warning had been issued against skiing in the area, which was just inside the boundaries of Crystal Mountain Resort. The private ski resort determines the conditions but there is nothing that stops skiers from going there because the property abuts public lands in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Frank DeBerry, the resort’s president and CEO, said all six men held the ski resort’s uphill travel passes, which means they were registered with ski patrol, participated in an orientation on how and where to access backcountry skiing through the resort’s property and were required to check snow conditions prior to their excursion.

“Skiers can travel at will wherever they want in the national forest. They had gone out into the forest but ended up back in bounds (of the resort) where this slide occurred,” DeBerry said

In addition to shutting the area where the slide occurred, the resort earlier in the day closed the Mt. Rainier Gondola because of winds reaching 100 miles per hour (161 kilometers per hour).

The avalanche came amid the season’s first major snowfall. The area is under a winter storm warning until Sunday morning, with the National Weather Service saying 12 to 15 inches (38 centimeters) of snow is possible for areas above 2,000 feet (610 meters).

“We’ve had a late start to the season and now we’ve gone from virtually no snow to a giant snow storm. People got excited,” DeBerry said. “We all have to remember that it’s a sport that carries risk.”

Crystal Mountain is the largest ski resort in Washington state, encompassing 2,600 acres (1,052 hectares).

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks during a media conference at the end of a NATO summit i...
Associated Press

Spain boosts military spending to close gap with NATO goal

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Spain is increasing military spending as it works toward meeting a NATO commitment by dedicating 2% of gross domestic product to defense, the government said Tuesday. Cabinet members approved a one-off expenditure of almost 1 billion euros (around $1.04 billion) for Spain’s Defense Ministry that the government said was needed to […]
7 hours ago
A security officer walks past the front of the Jackson Women's Health Organization clinic in Jackso...
Associated Press

Judge set to hear challenge of Mississippi abortion law

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A judge is holding a hearing Tuesday to consider a lawsuit filed by Mississippi’s only abortion clinic, which is trying to remain open by blocking a law that would ban most abortions in the state. The law — which state lawmakers passed before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 ruling […]
7 hours ago
Associated Press

Germany considers aid for struggling energy firms

BERLIN (AP) — The German government has drawn up a plan that would allow it to aid struggling energy companies more easily — a move that comes amid efforts to shore up Uniper, Germany’s biggest importer of Russian gas. The plan, approved Tuesday by the Cabinet but still requiring parliamentary approval, aims to give the […]
7 hours ago
FILE - Medical director of Doctor on Demand Dr. Vibin Roy speaks to a patient during an online prim...
Associated Press

Many won’t rely on virtual options after COVID: AP-NORC poll

WASHINGTON (AP) — Many Americans don’t expect to rely on the digital services that became commonplace during the pandemic after COVID-19 subsides, according to a new poll, even as many think it’s a good thing if those options remain available in the future. Close to half or more of U.S. adults say they are not […]
7 hours ago
A police car patrols the street as residents gather nearby, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Hac...
Associated Press

Alleged Chinese police database hack leaks data of 1 billion

HONG KONG (AP) — Hackers claim to have obtained a trove of data on 1 billion Chinese from a Shanghai police database in a leak that, if confirmed, could be one of the largest data breaches in history. In a post on the online hacking forum Breach Forums last week, someone using the handle “ChinaDan” […]
7 hours ago
Two police officers stand their post, the day after a deadly mass shooting on the Westside of the H...
Associated Press

July 4 parade shooting leaves 6 dead, 30 hurt; man detained

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) — A shooter fired on an Independence Day parade from a rooftop in suburban Chicago, spraying the crowd with gunshots initially mistaken for fireworks before hundreds of panicked revelers of all ages fled in terror. At least six people were killed and at least 30 wounded. An hourslong manhunt during which […]
7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
Avalanche at Washington state ski resort kills 1, traps 5