Reports are coming out of Steven’s Pass, Washington detailing a deadly avalanche that has claimed as many as three lives today. The avalanche occurred on an out-of bounds slope near Steven’s Pass Ski Resort, in an area known-as Tunnel Creek. The area is a popular location for backcountry enthusiasts and well known to many locals who typically access it from the top of Barrier or 7th heaven.
Earlier in the day, the King County Sheriff’s Office reported that as many as 8 individuals were missing, but since those initial reports all missing parties have been accounted.
Elsewhere at Alpenatle Valley, a snowboarder was killed after being hit with another avalanche. The snowboarder and his friend were underneath a cliff with the avalanche hit. One rider was able to make it out of the snow mass while the other was left trapped. It was not until 90 minutes later that rescuers were able to recover the missing boarder — by then it was too late.
The Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center had issued a high danger warning for any areas above 5,000 feet, citing early weekend storms followed by warmer weather could potentially trigger a slide on steeper slopes. It still remains unclear what specifically caused each of these avalanches.
We will continue to provide updates on the situation if and when they become available.