Tragedy struck at Alpine Meadows resort this morning when the body of a missing 25 year old snowboarder was found dead at 9am. Shawnte Marie Willis, who was snowboarding with her boyfriend and his friends, went missing on Tuesday after last being seen near the resort’s boundary. Her body was found about 400 feet away from the Pacific Crest Trail in a tree well on the back side of the mountain.
Rescue efforts were hindered by high winds, constant heavy snow, and dangerous avalanche conditions. As soon as conditions allowed a National Guard helicopter with infared technology was deployed, but found nothing. The search resumed this morning with over forty snowshoers and skiers involved, as well as numerous volunteers. Officials have speculated that the woman may have crashed into a tree, although this has not yet been confirmed. She suffered from epilepsy but it has not yet been determined as a contributing factor.
She was a strong rider who gave lessons in the Tahoe area, and will be dearly missed. SIP