Two skiers injured in snow slide at Squaw | SierraSun.com
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Two skiers injured in snow slide at Squaw

Two skiers were injured after being caught in a snow slide on Squaw Valley USA’s KT-22 Saturday morning.

The men, who suffered leg injuries, were caught in what Savannah Cowley, Squaw spokeswoman, called a “post-control release,” not an avalanche, at about 11 a.m. Cowley said that prior to the slide that hit the two men, ski patrollers used dynamite to knock loose the potential avalanche site in the area of the Olympic Lady ski lift where the slide later occurred.

Cowley said before the slide, about 20 to 30 people had skied or snowboarded through the area.



“The Patrol Route leader assessed the area and deployed several sticks of dynamite in the area and followed up with ski cutting,” a Squaw Valley USA release said.

Ski cutting is used as an additional measure to assess the stability of the snow. After ski cutting was completed, patrol cleared the area.



The two injured skiers were caught below the release point and swept into the area of trees directly below. Both skiers sustained legs injuries. Ski Patrol was on scene in less than one minute, according to resort officials.

Both skiers were assessed and transported to the clinic at the base of the mountain.

Meanwhile in Colorado, an avalanche killed a 27-year-old man while he was skiing outside the boundaries of Vail ski resort Friday morning, and experts the snow storm now pummeling the Sierra is likely to increase the danger of fresh slides.

Jesse Brigham, a Vail Resorts employee, was skiing with two companions when the avalanche hit. The other two survived and pulled him from the snow after 10 to 20 minutes, but attempts to revive him failed, Eagle County sheriff’s spokeswoman Shannon Cordingly told the Vail Daily.

Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis said the cause of death was asphyxiation.

As much as three feet of snow is expected to fall in some mountain areas this weekend.

Cordingly says the trio was skiing in an area known as the East Chutes on Vail Pass and each carried locator beacons. The area is popular and an estimated 300 ski or snowboard through the area everyday.

It was the 14th avalanche death this season in the nation.


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