Lucky Backcountry Skiers Escape Avalanche at Chair Peak, Snoqualmie Pass

The Northwest Avalanche Center is warning that avalanche danger in the Cascade Mountains is still very high.

Some skiers were very lucky in the Chair Peak area near Snoqualmie Pass yesterday, February 22, 2014, as a strong, naturally triggered avalanche hit around 12PM.

According to the Northwest Avalanche Center, the avalanche’s point of origin was on the North side of Chair Peak’s rock face at about 6,000 feet. The slide traveled 1,900 feet below to Snow Lake.

The three skiers were transitioning on the shelf to the right of the avalanche at about 5,200 feet and were caught in the side of the slide. Fortunately it banked left of the mountain.

The skiers were pushed about 50 feet, but luckily remained on the shelf.  They were partially buried, but sustained no injuries, and were able to climb to the slide path and hike down to Source Lake.  They lost a set of skis and a snowboard in the avalanche.

The Northwest Avalanche says the medium-sized slide, which was 100 feet wide, released where the new and old snow met, as the new storm snow had not completely settled.

The naturally triggered avalanche was ranked as a D3 slide, meaning it could bury and destroy a car damage a truck or break a few trees.





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