Woman Buried in Washington Avalanche Rescued Unharmed

Party of three became trapped after triggering a small avalanche


 
 

| Wednesday, December 19, 2012


CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, Wash. (AP) — A young woman buried by an avalanche for at least 10 minutes Tuesday at Washington's Crystal Mountain ski resort was rescued unharmed, the head of the resort's ski patrol said.

She was part of a party of three skiing in a steep area of expert terrain when the trio triggered a small avalanche, said Paul Baugher, ski patrol director. Two young men were partially buried but able to dig themselves out.

They or nearby skiers immediately called the Crystal Ski Patrol emergency number and a ski patrol member reached the spot within five minutes, Baugher said. Ski patrol personnel and other skiers equipped with collapsible metal probes searched the area and found the buried woman.

"They were able to get this gal out in 10-15 minutes," Baugher said Tuesday night, adding she was checked out by a doctor and was fine. He didn't have additional details about the skier.

The buried skier was not equipped with an avalanche locator beacon or an air bag. Baugher estimated she was "a couple of feet down."

"There is air in the snow, you can breathe that for a while," he said.

A major storm this week dumped more than 40 inches of snow on Crystal in about 36 hours, Baugher said.

"This is one of those things that creates phenomenal powder skiing but with that comes an increase in the avalanche hazard," he said, adding avalanche control crews had been working all day.

Ski patrol personnel were pre-positioned in the area because they had just completed some avalanche control work nearby. No avalanche control work had been done in the "random little pocket" where the slide occurred because "you would never expect an avalanche in this particular place," Baugher said.

He stressed that "this came out great" because everyone was prepared — the young woman was skiing with companions who could report where she was last seen, skiers had the direct number for the ski patrol, patrol personnel were nearby and everyone involved had the equipment needed for a quick, effective search.

"There's always luck," he said. "But when a good outcome comes, we make a lot of that. The skiers helped make some of their own luck."

Crystal Mountain is located on the northeast corner of Mount Rainier National Park in Washington's Cascade Mountains.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, snow, skiing, avalanche

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Simulation-Based Assessment Facilitates Learning & Enhances Clinical Judgment

Simulation is an educational tool that can be used to develop and refine clinical skills of the student in a controlled environment before they progress to becoming practicing clinicians.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

REMSA Programs Helps Reduce Hospital Visits

Community paramedic effort goes into service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

City Official Challenges San Francisco Fire Chief

Ambulance response times among problems noted by city supervisor.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Crash

Victoria ambulance collides with civilian vehicle.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Medics Ditch Pants for Kilts

“Real men do wear kilts.”
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

CO Leak at Illinois School

Girard incident sends over 130 to hospitals.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On September 2014

Who gets thumbs up this month?
More >


Multimedia Thumb

NYC Sept. 11 Anniversary

View images from the ceremony at Ground Zero.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >