Tahoe Resort Avalanche: Urgent Search Operations Launched After Incident
A tragedy struck Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort on Wednesday morning when an avalanche descended upon the slopes, resulting in the loss of one life and leaving another person with minor non-life-threatening injuries.
The incident occurred at approximately 9:30 am on January 10, catching guests at the resort off-guard.
A Day of Leisure at the Resort Takes a Dark Turn
Placer County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. David Smith addressed the media during a press conference Wednesday evening, confirming the fatality and providing details about the incident.
The deceased victim was a man, while another person suffered injuries but is thankfully in stable condition. Both individuals were guests at the resort, and their day of enjoyment turned into a nightmare.
Dee Byrne, the president of Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort, expressed deep sorrow, calling it a “very sad day for my team and everyone here.”
She reassured the public that an investigation is underway to understand the circumstances surrounding the tragic event.
Michael Gross, Vice President of Mountain Operations, revealed that the KT-22 lift had just opened for the season at 9 a.m., a mere 30 minutes before the avalanche occurred.
Gross explained that the resort had been conducting avalanche control assessments since Sunday, indicating that safety measures were in place.
The avalanche struck the Palisades side, specifically above the GS gully area of KT-22, as announced by the resort through its official Twitter account.
Search efforts were promptly initiated, and it was confirmed that no one else was reported missing on the mountain.
The resort took immediate action in response to the avalanche, closing both sides of the mountain and deploying its patrol and mountain operations team for search and rescue efforts.
The avalanche debris field was reported to be approximately 150 feet wide, 450 feet long, and 10 feet deep, illustrating the magnitude of the natural disaster.
Palisades Tahoe Avalanche Update
Sgt. Smith emphasized that, at the time of the press conference, authorities did not believe anyone else was trapped, but the situation was fluid, urging caution.
He shared that both guests caught in the slide had been accounted for, with one being extracted by her partner and the other assisted by fellow guests, fortunately escaping without injuries.
The incident has evoked memories of a 2020 avalanche at Alpine Meadows, where one skier lost their life and another was seriously injured a day after a major storm.
Additionally, the region experienced a tragic avalanche at Alpine Meadows in March 1982, claiming the lives of seven people, including several resort employees.
As the Palisades Tahoe community grapples with the aftermath of this devastating event, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victim.
The ski resort will undoubtedly undergo a comprehensive review of safety protocols, emphasizing the importance of continuous efforts to ensure the well-being of all those who visit these picturesque slopes.