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One killed and two rescued as avalanche hits Tahoe ski resort

The resort closed both sides of the mountain after the avalanche struck

Kelly Rissman
Wednesday 10 January 2024 23:14 GMT
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Palisades Tahoe avalanche: search underway at resort

An avalanche occurred at a ski resort in Tahoe, California, killing one person and injuring another, according to authorities.

One man was reported dead and another person sustained minor non-life-threatening injuries after the avalanche took place at the Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort around 9.30am on Wednesday, 10 January, Placer County Sheriff’s Office Sgt David Smith said at a press conference Wednesday evening. Both were guests at the resort.

No others were reported missing and all search efforts have concluded. There is “nobody else up on the mountain as a result of the avalanche,” the sergeant said.

Dee Byrne, the president of Palisades Tahoe ski resort, said it was a “very sad day for my team and everyone here.” She added that an investigation is ongoing.

Michael Gross, Vice President of mountain operations, noted that the KT-22 lift opened on Wednesday for the first time this season at 9am — just 30 minutes before the avalanche struck. He explained that the avalanche control assessment since Sunday.

Mr Gross said that two other people were “caught in the slide.” He said “one was extracted by her partner, other was assisted by other guests,” and they did not suffer any injuries.

It occurred on the Palisades side “specifically above the GS gully area of KT-22,” the resort tweeted.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office wrote, “Our thoughts and prayers are with their family members at this difficult time. No further missing persons have been reported.”

The avalanche prompted the resort to close both sides of the mountain and sparked the deployment of its patrol and mountain operations team to conduct a search.

The office said the avalanche debris field is roughly 150 ft wide, 450 ft long and 10 ft deep.

Earlier, the office wrote on Facebook that deputies are “responding to an avalanche at Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort in Olympic Valley. We will have more information when it’s available.”

“They don’t believe at this point in time that anybody’s trapped,” Sgt Smith told The Associated Press but added it’s a “fluid situation” on the mountain.

A 2020 avalanche at Alpine Meadows killed one skier and seriously injured another a day after a major storm, reported the AP.

Another avalanche at Alpine Meadows in March 1982 killed seven people, including several employees of the ski resort.

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