Lake Ta­hoe re­sort avalanche kills skier

Antelope Valley Press - - NEWS - By SCOTT SON­NER

TA­HOE CITY, Calif. — An avalanche Friday at a Lake Ta­hoe ski re­sort killed one skier and se­ri­ously in­jured another a day af­ter a storm dumped snow through­out the pic­turesque area.

The avalanche oc­curred at Alpine Mead­ows Ski Re­sort, hit­ting the two skiers on some of the steep­est ter­rain at the re­sort, where a se­ries of ex­pert runs snake through trees, past cliffs and down nar­row chutes.

“You have to be pretty skilled to get over there in the first place,” said Sean Kent of Reno, who was at Alpine Mead­ows Friday and has skied the af­fected area be­fore. “It’s fickle. It comes with the ter­ri­tory. There’s only so much you can do.”

Of­fi­cials iden­ti­fied the man who died as Cole Com­stock, 34, of Blairs­den, Cal­i­for­nia. Placer County Sher­iff ’s Sgt. Michael Pow­ers said the in­jured skier had se­ri­ous lower body in­juries and was air­lifted to a Lake Ta­hoe hos­pi­tal for emer­gency surgery.

Pow­ers said a ski pa­trol was on scene in the rugged area al­most im­me­di­ately, where oth­ers at the top of the run said two skiers had been on the hill be­low them in an area within the ski re­sort’s bound­ary.

“I know at least one of the vic­tims was par­tially buried by snow,” Pow­ers said. “When you get con­di­tions like this, there is al­ways a risk of avalanche.”

The Sierra Avalanche Cen­ter had warned of dan­ger­ous avalanche con­di­tions for all el­e­va­tions. Its web­site said there was “a high de­gree of un­cer­tainty in re­gards to snow­pack in­sta­bil­ity near and be­low tree­line.”

The storm dumped up to 25 inches of snow at the top of the re­sort, said Edan Weishahn, a me­te­o­rol­o­gist with the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice of­fice in Reno. She said one to two feet of snow fell in the sur­round­ing moun­tains over a 24-hour pe­riod.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Skiers ride a chair­lift Friday at Alpine Mead­ows Ski Re­sort in front of the moun­tain tra­versed by the Sub­way Cirque ski run where one person was killed and another se­ri­ously in­jured in an avalanche ear­lier in the day.

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