The massive amount of snow that Tahoe resorts have received over the past few weeks hasn't been all fun and games. Storms have been rolling in and dropping off snow by the feet, back-to-back, without giving the snowpack a chance to absorb the previous storm and make a strong connection between all the various layers. So despite ski patrol's best efforts to find all the unstable spots and blow them up before skiers and riders get on them, a few very scary surprises have popped up.
On December 23rd, three snowboarders riding above the Fingers at Squaw Valley's KT-22 lift triggered an avalanche after ski patrol had done control work. While only giving minor injuries to three people, the snow level was close enough to the chairlift at the part going over the Fingers and the avalanche was powerful enough to pull a man off that chair and into the slide.
Across the ridge at Alpine Meadows, a long-time ski patroller died from injuries sustained when caught in an avalanche on the Sherwood bowl that was set off by ski patrol before the mountain opened and ripped out a much bigger portion of the slope than avalanches usually do there. Soon after, a 49-year old snowboarder was found dead at Donner Ski Ranch, the tiny ski hill near Donner Summit, after he had been buried under three to five feet of snow in an avalanche.
·2 killed in avalanches, skiers warned [San Francisco Gate]