Skiers escape Squaw avalanche | SierraSun.com
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Skiers escape Squaw avalanche

Christine Stanley

Four skiers escaped from an avalanche that occurred at Squaw Valley U.S.A. just after 2 p.m. on Thursday.The slide, which was 18 to 30-inch deep and was caused by a change in temperature, occurred under the Headwall chairlift, said Savannah Cowley, media and public relations director for Squaw Valley Ski Corp. Between 11 a.m. and the time of the slide, mountain temperatures at Squaw Valley dropped nearly 20 degrees, she said. “It’s a weird spot for a slide,” Cowley said. “I think it just has to do with how this storm hit and the way the snow packed.”There were many witnesses, and they all reported they saw four skiers ski out of the slide, though one sustained a shoulder injury, Cowley said. “[It happened] about halfway down the face, and basically goes all the way across,” said Doug Stanley, a skier who came upon the slide shortly after it occurred. “The slide path was about 250 feet long by 200 feet wide. [It’s a strange location] considering that they bomb it, but these things happen.”After the slide, the Headwall chairlift was closed only temporarily to recover the skier’s lost gear, Cowley said, and was re-opened shortly after. In this region, avalanche danger is “considerable” in most areas above 9,300 feet, according to a Truckee-based Sierra Avalanche Center.”It was really low, relative to where slides normally happen,” Cowley said.


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