A Mount Hood ski patroller was buried and seriously injured in an avalanche Wednesday afternoon while working in a closed area of the resort, reports OregonLive.com.
A trio of patrollers were working in the area when the avalanche occurred, according to a resort spokesman. The patrollers were boot packing in a closed area of the resort, known as God’s Wall, in order to stabilize the snowpack ready for opening when conditions improve. The patroller, who was partially buried, was taken to the hospital and released the following day.
Operations manager for American Medical Response in Clackamas County, Jason Mahle, said the man suffered a period of unconsciousness during the slide but otherwise remained conscious and alert. The patroller had managed to pull the cord on his airbag allowing fellow ski patrollers to dig him out, Mahle added.
The region is seeing the most extended period of snowfall this year. Meadows, as of just before 4 pm Thursday, reported a 99″ base at 6,250 feet elevation and a 64″ base lower on the mountain. The Northwest Avalanche Center, a collaboration between a nonprofit of the same name and the U.S. Forest Service’s regional avalanche center, warned of “considerable” avalanche danger near and below the treeline Wednesday on Mount Hood.