Avalanche In Washington State

February 20, 2012 by staff 

Avalanche In Washington State, An avalanche near a popular ski resort in Washington state killed three people on Sunday, and all those initially reported as missing have been accounted for, a resort official said.

John Gifford, general manager at the Stevens Pass ski area, said he’s unsure how many people were caught up in the slide, or whether there were additional injuries. But he said the death toll remains at three.

The King County Sheriff’s Office earlier said as many as eight people were missing after the avalanche.

Sergeant Cindi West said her office began receiving word about the slide just after noon. Stevens Pass is in the Cascade Mountains, about 130km northeast of Seattle.

The avalanche occurred in an out-of-bounds area on the back side of the resort.

The Northwest Weather and Avalanche Centre on Sunday issued a warning for high avalanche danger for areas above 1 500m, saying warmer weather could loosen surface snow and trigger a slide on steeper slopes. The elevation of the avalanche wasn’t immediately clear.

At mid-afternoon, the temperature at the base of the ski resort was -4°, with light winds and good visibility. The temperature at the top of the mountain was -6°, according to the resort’s website.

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