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Avalanche at Palisades Tahoe leaves 1 skier dead and 1 hurt, sheriff says

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Avalanche at Palisades Tahoe leaves 1 skier dead and 1 hurt, sheriff says
The Olympic Valley Authorities said that an avalanche at the Palisades Tahoe resort on Wednesday resulted in one death and one injury.

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The deceased man was recognized by the sheriff’s office as Kenneth Kidd, a Point Reyes and Truckee, California resident, 66.

According to officials during a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, four people—two buried, one man who died, and one other person who was injured—were trapped in the avalanche.

According to authorities, there are no more persons thought to be missing.

An avalanche victim reported that she plummeted 200 feet and was buried prior to being rescued by an unknown individual.

The resort released a statement stating that the avalanche occurred on the Palisades side above the GS gully area of KT-22 on Wednesday at approximately 9:30 a.m. The mountain operations team of the resort tweeted that KT-22 was placed on patrol hold at 9:28 a.m.

The KT-22 terrain will remain closed, however Palisades Tahoe has announced that its resort will reopen on Thursday at 9 a.m.
Map of Palisades Tahoe trails

Palisades Tahoe claims to have located the avalanche’s site.

The sheriff’s office estimates that the debris field is roughly 150 feet wide, 450 feet long, and 10 feet deep.

Avalanche prevention work was done in the vicinity of the avalanche on Wednesday, according to Palisades Tahoe mountain operations, which they confirmed to CBS13.

Over a hundred Palisades Tahoe employees contributed to the search effort. Additionally, Cal Fire stated that it relocated staff and resources to assist with potential rescue operations, as reported by the governor’s office of California.

Over a hundred Palisades Tahoe residents participated in the search for two individuals who were allegedly buried on January 10 by an avalanche.

Jen Winklepleck

According to a skier who spotted the avalanche while on the lift and spoke with CBS13, she and other others dove in to aid in the hunt.

The resort is within the boundaries of Rep. Kevin Kiley’s 3rd Congressional District. Kiley stated in a statement that his office is in communication with the Placer County Office of Emergency Services.

“We are grateful to our first responders who are hard at work conducting the search,” Kiley wrote in a letter.

The lifts at Palisades and Alpine are currently closed for the day, per the resort’s website.

Related: Palisades Tahoe ski resort shutters due to an avalanche; a winter storm watch is in effect until Thursday

The Sierra Avalanche Center releases daily hazard forecasts, indicating that avalanches are a recognized threat in the Tahoe area. Avalanche threat on Wednesday was rated as “considerable” for all levels on the center tracks.

One skier was killed in an avalanche in Alpine Meadows back in 2020.

According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, there have been no US avalanche-related fatalities in 2024 as of Wednesday.Thirty people died nationally last year, two of them in California: one was a backcountry skier at Hurd Peak, southwest of Bishop, and the other was a hiker on Split Mountain, southwest of Big Pine.

Known for hosting the Winter Olympics in 1960, Palisades Tahoe is a well-liked ski resort in the area. Due to the negative connotations associated with the previous name, Native American organizations pushed for its renaming in 2021.

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