Skier Killed in Avalanche at Alpine Meadows Marks Fourth Inbounds Death This Season

avalanche
Photo: Courtesy of Scott Sonner/AP/Shutterstock

After a storm dumped up to 2 feet of snow in the Lake Tahoe area last Thursday, a skier was killed the morning of January 17 when an avalanche occurred inbounds at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort.

According to the Placer County sheriff, Cole Comstock, 34, was killed. A second man suffered severe injuries to his lower body and was taken by ambulance to a hospital, according to authorities and a statement from the ski resort.

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This marks the fourth inbounds skier/snowboarder avalanche death in the United States for the 2019-2020 season, where total avalanche deaths have hit 12. Last season, the CAIC reported 25 avalanche deaths in the U.S. Two occurred inbounds. There have been seven inbounds avalanche fatalities in the last 10 years.

Placer County sheriff’s deputies responded to the resort, above the Subway ski run, about 10:30 a.m. after they received a report of an avalanche, Sgt. Mike Powers said. The cause of the avalanche is listed unknown at this time, pending additional investigation with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. The Sierra Avalanche Center rated avalanche conditions Friday as “considerable” for all elevations.

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Avalanche mitigation work had been performed in the area prior to opening to skiers and riders for the day.

The CAIC recommends that skiers who choose to ski extreme terrain, even inbounds, should carry avalanche equipment, including a beacon, shovel, and probe; check with ski patrol to learn what terrain is open or closed; and check the local avalanche report.

This article originally appeared on Powder.com and was republished with permission.

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