News Blog: Deadly avalanches in Washington


Avalanches can happen unexpectedly, as four people found out this weekend in Washington, according to

According to Time, about a dozen well-equipped skiers went to Stevens Pass, a popular Washington ski resort, on Sunday and were skiing through approximately a foot -and-a-half of fresh snow. They were familiar with the terrain, but an avalanche hit as they were skiing in an out-of-bounds area. They had split into smaller groups and three men were killed as the snow swept them down the mountain.

A fourth skier, also caught in the slide, was saved by a safety device, similar to an airbag. The other skiers pulled the buried men out of the snow and attempted to perform CPR without success.

[easyembed field=”Vimeo”]

The surviving member of the four skiers, Megan Michelson, said she was saved because of the airbag she used after the avalanche hit. “I was completely buried except for my head and hands,” she said.

The Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center on Sunday had issued a warning for high avalanche danger, saying the warmer weather could possibly loosen surface snow and trigger a slide on steeper slopes. It was reported that at mid-afternoon, the temperature at the base of the Stevens Pass ski resort was 24 degrees.  John Gifford, the ski area’s general manager, said on Sunday that the resort had received 19 inches of snow in the past 24 hours.

The fatalities at Stevens Pass were a part of an overall disastrous Sunday in Washington, as a male snowboarder was also killed in an avalanche in a ski area east of Seattle.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email