Backcountry Skier Found Buried & Dead in Avalanche near Crystal Mountain, WA

Miles Clark | | AvalancheAvalanche
Stock image of Crystal Mountain, WA avalanche on March 10th, 2014.
Stock image of Crystal Mountain, WA avalanche on March 10th, 2014.

A 64-year-old woman was found buried in an avalanche outside of the ski area boundary today.  A member of the Crystal Mountain Ski Patrol spotted the avalanche debris Thursday morning and upon taking a closer look noticed a backpack and what appeared to be a partially buried person who was non-responsive.

Ski Patrol immediately began searching the area with probes and avalanche rescue dogs to rule out other possible victims.  The body of the deceased woman was found at roughly 10:52 a.m. this morning.  It appears she was ski-touring alone in the backcountry when she triggered the avalanche.

It also appears she was traveling uphill when the avalanche occurred.  Early reports suggest that the avalanche occurred sometime on Wednesday, January 4th.  The apparent cause of death is asphyxiation.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased skier,” said Kim Kircher, Ski Patrol Director.  “This hits close to home as she was a well known skier in our community,” she added.

This is a very unfortunate reminder that you should always ski with a partner and carry proper equipment.

The name has not been released.

This was the 4th avalanche death in the USA this season.


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