Patroller in Alpine Avalanche; Man Dies at Donner Ski Ranch
From Alpine Meadows:
Today at 10:45 a.m. a member of the Alpine Meadows professional ski patrol was caught in an avalanche. The patroller is part of a team of professional ski patrollers who were performing routine snow safety in the Sherwood Bowl area of Alpine Meadows. The area was closed to the public at the time.
The avalanche was triggered by an explosive charge that had been thrown by a senior member of the ski patrol team. The patrol team members were positioned in an area that was, based on historical experience, believed to have been a protected area. The charge triggered the avalanche, which broke much higher and wider on the slope than previously observed in past snow safety missions. The patroller who was caught and buried in the debris was found within one minute and uncovered within eight minutes from the time of the avalanche. After uncovering the buried patroller, members of the ski patrol team immediately began CPR. The patroller was transported to an ambulance and then transported via Care Flight to Renown Hospital in Reno, Nev.
The patroller has 28 years of experience on Alpine Meadows' professional ski patrol and he routinely performed snow safety in this area.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the patroller and his family and also with the Alpine Meadows family, at this time.
From Alpine Meadows
From Nevada County Sheriff's Office
At approx. 12noon this date, the Nevada County Sheriff's Office received a report of an overdue snowboarder who may have gotten caught up in an avalanche that occurred earlier in the morning at Donner Ski Ranch (19320 Donner Pass Rd., Truckee CA.). The reporting person stated there were several subjects skiing & snowboarding in and about an area affected by a moderate sized avalanche. The reporting person discovered his friend; a white male subject in his 50's, was overdue and believed to have possibly been caught up in the avalanche.
The Nevada County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene and initiated a search for the missing man. Search & Rescue Teams from the Placer County Sheriff's Office were quickly called in to assist and Ski Patrols from both Donner Ski Ranch & Sugar Bowl Resort combed the area of the avalanche and adjacent debris field with ground teams and search dogs.
At approx. 1:30pm a Sugar Bowl Ski Patrol canine alerted search crews to an area at the base of the debris field. The deceased body of a white male subject matching the description of the overdue/missing subject was quickly located approx. 2-3 feet under the snow where the canine had alerted. It is believed the subject is, in fact, one in the same as the reported overdue/missing subject; however identification is being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin.
The Sheriff's Office received only the one report of an overdue/missing subject and at approx. 4pm search efforts were wrapping up in the area. The affected areas immediately surrounding the avalanche were closed during the search.