1 Dead, 3 Injured in Ski Resort Avalanche

Slide occurred Wednesday morning at Palisades Tahoe
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 10, 2024 7:45 PM CST
1 Dead, 1 Injured in Ski Resort Avalanche
The parking area of the Alpine Base Area at Palisades Tahoe is seen during a winter storm last year.   (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

An avalanche roared through a section of expert trails at a California ski resort near Lake Tahoe on Wednesday, killing one person and injuring three others, as a major storm with snow and gusty winds moved into the region, authorities said. The avalanche prompted Palisades Tahoe to close 30 minutes after it opened, and search crews combed the area to see if anyone was injured or trapped. Sgt. David Smith, a spokesperson for the Placer County sheriff, said hours later that a male victim died. One person suffered a lower leg injury, and two others were treated for unspecified injuries and released, the AP reports. He said nobody else was missing.

The avalanche happened just 30 minutes after the resort opened on steep slopes under the K-22 lift, which serves "black diamond" runs for expert skiers and snowboarders. Palisades Tahoe said in a statement on X that its search teams were checking an area called GS Gully and that both sides of the mountain at the resort would be closed for the rest of the day. The avalanche debris field is approximately 150 feet wide, 450 feet long, and 10 feet deep, the sheriff's office said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with their family members at this difficult time," the sheriff's office said in a statement. The avalanche happened as a powerful storm was expected to bring as much as 2 feet of snow to the highest elevations by early Thursday. Palisades, the site for the 1960 Winter Olympics, is on the western side of Lake Tahoe, about 40 miles from Reno, Nevada. (More Lake Tahoe stories.)

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