Outdoors blog

Another powder skier suffocates in tree well

The La Nina weather pattern has brought near-record snowfall to Oregon resorts, resulting in terrific powder skiing and boarding conditions. (Courtesy Mt. Bachelor)
The La Nina weather pattern has brought near-record snowfall to Oregon resorts, resulting in terrific powder skiing and boarding conditions. (Courtesy Mt. Bachelor)

WINTER SPORTS -- It happened last week at Whitefish Mountain Resort in Montana, and now another report from Wednesday of a Washington skier without a partner falling into a powder pit at the base of a tree and suffocating.

CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, Wash. (AP) — The ski patrol at Washington’s Crystal Mountain Resort says a Seattle skier died when he apparently suffocated in a tree well.

The ski patrol says a skier told patrol members shortly before 2:30 p.m. Wednesday that her skiing partner was missing. KOMO-TV reports that the patrol says the man had last been seen about 90 minutes earlier.

Ski patrol members spotted some ski equipment near the base of a tree and located the 35-year-old man. They dug him out and began CPR but he died. He was not immediately identified.

Snow immersion suffocation can happen when a skier falls, usually headfirst, into deep loose snow at the base of a tree and becomes immobilized under the snow.

The resort’s ski patrol director, Paul Baugher, says it’s important to ski with a partner and keep each other in sight.

Crystal Mountain has gotten 19 inches of snow in the past 24 hours. 




You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Outdoors blog
Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

Follow Rich online:







Sections


Profile

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Back to Spokesman Mobile