Another avalanche takes lives of two Bellevue teens at Snoqualmie Pass

Around noon on February 26, 2018 the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) said two teenage snowshoers – whom search and rescue crews had been looking for since about 8AM near Alpental – were unfortunately found deceased in an avalanche.

The two teens from Bellevue – said to be 18-years old and 17-years old – were reported missing by their parents Sunday around 9PM when they didn’t return from a late afternoon snowshoeing outing at Snoqualmie Pass.

Due to treacherous weather conditions, SAR crews were not able to begin their search until Monday morning. Via a TV news phone interview, KCSO spokesperson Ryan Abbott said search crews even had to halt their morning search briefly due to another avalanche starting.

KCSAR Volunteer PIO Alan LaBisoniere said the two males were apparently caught in a “fairly large avalanche.” He said one of the teens was an experienced snowshoer and they had avalanche gear, including beacons which along with cell phone GPS data helped searchers pinpoint their location Monday morning.

An Issaquah man also died in an avalanche near Stampede Pass – about 10 miles from the Alpental area – on Sunday afternoon.

Abott urged people to check weather and avalanche conditions in the Snoqualmie Pass area before heading out.

You can hear Abott’s full interview with King 5 News HERE.

The Northwest Avalanche Center offers up to date info on current conditions.  For February 26th avalanche conditions are listed as ‘considerable.’  On Sunday, the avalanche risk was considered ‘high.’


Search crews at Alpental, 2/26/18. Photo: King 5 News Twitter feed.

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