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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Woodinville man died in avalanche

Associated Press

SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. – A skier who died after being caught in a small avalanche at the Alpental ski area was identified Thursday by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office as Eric Lewis, 28, of Woodinville.

An autopsy was scheduled today.

Lewis and a friend were skiing Wednesday in a closed area at Snoqualmie Pass when the avalanche hit. Lewis was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he died.

A spokesman for The Summit at Snoqualmie, which includes Alpental and three other ski areas, said the avalanche struck around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, burying the skier below the International Cliffs, an area that was closed because there wasn’t enough snow.

The friend who was skiing with the victim was partially buried, but was able to dig himself out, Summit spokesman Jon Pretty said.

Two other skiers were in the area at the time but weren’t caught in the snow slide. One helped locate the buried skier, and the other notified ski patrol, Pretty said.

A ski patrol crew found the buried skier, who, like his friend, was wearing an avalanche beacon, about 40 minutes after the avalanche, Pretty said.

The avalanche was triggered when snow at the base of International Cliffs broke loose, Pretty said.

There are signs posted in the area saying it’s not open for skiing.

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