Sunday, February 19, 2012
STEVENS PASS, WASH. Powder has confirmed that three people have died in an avalanche in the backcountry outside of Stevens Pass resort near Leavenworth, Washington. Members of the Powder staff were on site and involved in the rescue. According to those on the scene, the avalanche was skier-triggered, and started small, but propagated, capturing three others. It ran approximately 3,000 feet, according to the witness. The fourth victim reportedly deployed an airbag and escaped serious injury.
Out of respect for the victims' families, Powder is not releasing the names the deceased at this time. All three were very familiar with the terrain and experienced backcountry travelers. All others involved in the incident are believed to be safe at this time.
Stevens Pass reported 14 inches of new snow overnight, and 26 inches in the last 24 hours. The Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center rated the danger as considerable to high. We will update this report shortly.