Tahoe local dies in avalanche
December 26, 2008
Randall Davis of Tahoe City died in an avalanche at Squaw Valley USA on Christmas Day.
Shortly after 11 a.m. Davis, 21, was reported missing in the Red Dog area ” a heavily wooded area that’s very steep and considered expert terrain, according to Placer County Sheriff’s Office.
Ski patrol responded and found a fresh avalanche path in the immediate vicinity. A single ski was located that matched his equipment.
A search with trained dogs and electronic tracking devices located Davis several feet under the snow. He was dead when discovered.
“He was passionate about people, friends, sports, school and life,” said Nancy Davis, his mother. “He loved to perform and he loved to be at the center of attention.”
The day before the accident, Randall Davis went skiing with five friends he had skied with since the age of 2, his mother said.
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Randall Davis graduated from North Tahoe High School in 2005, and was in his fourth year at UC Davis with his sister, Jessica, and brother-in-law Brian Foster, where he studied exercise biology.
“The most important thing about him was he made sure he did what he loved in life,” said Kelsey Hudson, his girlfriend. “He loved all of his friends very very much.”
He skied with the Mighty Mites at Squaw until he was 8 years old, when he moved to the Freestyle Team, where he became a coach, Nancy Davis said.
“It’s devastating to lose a 21-year-old son, especially after Bud Davis dying last year,” said Ed Miller, a friend of the family. “They rode across the United States on bicycles ” Randy had the same sense of adventure as Bud; he was always challenging himself.”
Randall Davis’ father, Bud Davis, owner of Sawtooth Ridge Cafe in Tahoe City, passed away last January of cancer.
“He will be missed by the entire Squaw Valley family and Tahoe community,” read a release from Squaw Valley USA. “The Davises are pillars in the community and it is impossible to comprehend how many people will be affected by the loss of Randy.”
Randall Davis’ remains were taken to the Placer County morgue, where an autopsy will determine the exact cause of death.
Ski patrol noted apparent trauma due to impact with trees and avalanche debris, according to the Squaw Valley press release.
The last in-bounds avalanche fatality at the resort occurred in 1963, according to the release.
A service will be held for Randall Davis on Saturday, Jan. 3 at 4 p.m. in the Olympic Village Lodge.
The family is asking in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Squaw Valley Avalanche Education Fund, Box 2007 Olympic Valley, care of Squaw Valley Ski Corp.