An avalanche roared at a ski resort in California on Wednesday, leaving one person dead and three injured.
One person is dead and another is injured after an avalanche roared through a section of expert trails at a ski resort near Lake Tahoe https://t.co/5nGHksxHbE
— KTSM 9 News (@KTSMtv) January 11, 2024
Per the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, the avalanche incident happened around 9:30 a.m. on steep slopes under the KT-22 lift at Palisades Tahoe. The section reportedly serves “black diamond” runs for skiers and snowboarders who are skilled.
According to authorities, the avalanche debris field was measured to be around 10 feet deep, 150 feet wide and 450 feet long.
Upon the incident, the resort closed in order to check the area for anyone who might have been injured or trapped. As feared, the avalanche had come with a fatality, as a male died in the incident.
Three other people were injured, with one of them sustaining a lower leg injury. Two others were treated for injuries that have not been specified.
According to authorities, the person who died from the avalanche was an out-of-towner who had been at the resort as a guest.
One of the people who was buried under the avalanche said she would have been dead or injured had it not been for the intervention of a stranger. Speaking to CBS News, Janet He said that she had been buried in the snow and was unable to breathe.
“Am I going to die here?” she said she asked herself while she was trapped.
He, who was with her husband Janet Lu, said she suddenly felt the ground slip away when the avalanche stuck.
“The snow is already moving my feet, took me away and swept me off the mountain,” she said, revealing that she got buried in the snow after falling about 200 feet down then mountain.
“I couldn’t pull myself up because the snow was so heavy on top of me. I was buried, my face buried in the snow. I’m lucky I had the face mask, I had some air in the face mask,” she recounted.
While getting herself to calm down and conserve the little air she had, He reportedly heard a voice of another skier trying to rescue her.
“He says, ‘No worries, I got you.’ I think that’s the best thing I ever heard in my life,” she says.
Despite the near-death incident, He and her husband are not giving up skiing, as they said they’ll return to Palisades on Thursday when the resort reopens.