Snow risk warnings remain

craig.hill@thenewstribune.comFebruary 21, 2014 

Ski areas on Thursday continued to warn skiers and snowboarders of deep-snow risks after a man died Wednesday at Crystal Mountain.

A Seattle man died after falling into a tree well at the resort. The ski patrol found him within five minutes of receiving the report he was missing, but could not revive him.

Crystal Mountain officials had posted deep-snow warnings on its website Wednesday morning and earlier in the week during a recent string of storms that dumped five feet of snow on the resort in four days. In addition to directing people to a website about deep snow safety, it has brochures and signs posted at the resort.

Skiers and snowboarders are encouraged to ski together, avoid getting too close to trees and always keep within site of each other.

“This serves as an unfortunate and sad reminder of how important it is to ski and ride with a partner, and keep them in sight, especially where there’s a lot of new and unsettled snow,” Paul Baugher, Crystal’s ski patrol director, said in a statement the resort released Wednesday.

All local ski resorts had deep-snow conditions Thursday. Crystal Mountain packed on another 4 inches overnight. Alpental at the Summit at Snoqualmie received 12 inches in the past 24 hours.

White Pass received 18 inches in the past 24 hours. At Mount Baker, the Washington ski area that usually collects the most snow, 108 inches have fallen over the past nine days.

The Northwest Avalanche Center said Thursday’s risk was “high” in most of the Cascades and the Olympics.

There were nearly 173 inches of snow at Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park on Thursday and the road to Paradise was closed.

Craig Hill: 253-597-8497 craig.hill@thenewstribune.com

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