Photo From Olympic Valley Apartment Shows Destruction Caused by Palisades Tahoe, CA, Avalanche

SnowBrains | | AvalancheAvalanche
Palisades Tahoe avalanche
Credit: Henry B

Last Tuesday night, an avalanche struck an apartment building near Palisades Tahoe ski resort, forcing the residents to evacuate. The area had received multiple feet of snow over the previous few days, including a record 77″ in 48 hours.

A reader sent us the above photo of their apartment in Olympic Valley after the avalanche struck.


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Around 7 pm Tuesday, the avalanche struck the occupied three-story apartment building at 400 Shirley Canyon Road, Olympic Valley, CA, reports the Placer County Sheriff’s OfficeFortunately, all occupants were uninjured and able to evacuate the building with help from fire crews.

Palisades Tahoe, avalanche, california
Palisades map with the site of the avalanche.

The avalanche was approximately 200 yards wide and 25 feet deep and engulfed the bottom two storeys of the building. Our sources say the avalanche started at Tram tower 1.

palisades tahoe avalanche
Residents were evacuated and nobody was injured. Credit: PCSO

Due to the heightened avalanche risk, several additional areas were evacuated:

  • Shirley Canyon Rd to Granite Chief Rd.
  • Granite Chief Rd.
  • Sandy Way from Wayne Rd. to Navajo Ct.
  • Summit Peak Rd.
  • Summer Pl.

Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue and Palisades Ski Patrol assisted with evacuation efforts yesterday evening and used their K-9s to search for additional potential victims; there is no indication anyone else was caught in the path of the avalanche. A temporary evacuation center has been opened at the Community Recreation Center on 10981 Truckee Way, in Truckee. PCSO and county partners re-evaluated the avalanche risk Wednesday morning to determine whether it is safe for residents to return.

Palisades Tahoe has seen its snowiest October through February period since at least 1970. It has received 554″ of snowfall so far, allowing it to extend the season through at least Memorial Day Monday.

Red pin shows proximity of apartments to Palisades Tahoe ski area.
palisades tahoe avalanche
The avalanche buried the first two storeys. Credit: PCSO
palisades tahoe avalanche
Credit: PCSO

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