Second skier dies in Silver Mountain avalanche

SHOSHONE CO., Idaho — A second skier pulled from the snow in Tuesday’s Silver Mountain avalanche has died, the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office confirmed.

Earlier, the resort confirmed one person was killed and five others rescued from the three avalanches that hit Wardner Peak. Those rescued suffered minor injuries.

Later Tuesday evening, the resort confirmed another person was pulled from the snow and taken to Shoshone Medical Center.

In a post to Facebook, the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office said two skiers passed away and that all skiers on the mountain were accounted for.

Silver Mountain Ski Patrol, the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, and Volunteer Search and Rescue crews spent the rest of Tuesday searching for other skiers.

They weren’t alone in their search efforts.

Snowboarder Blaine Goodner, 17, said he and his dad took Chair 4 up the mountain earlier in the day. When they got back to the base and heard about the avalanche, they rode back up to Wardner Peak and started searching through the snow with 10-foot probes.

It was there that they found one skier, half-buried, as well as one of her friends who had been trapped under nine feet of snow for an hour.

“Everyone was kind of calm about it- like, they knew that they couldn’t be frantic and they knew what was happening, they knew how many people were there and they just needed to come together and do what they needed to do to find them,” said Goodner.

Goodner said he was there when search and rescue crews recovered the person who was killed. And as someone who saw just how bad it was, he said the five skiers who were rescued are lucky to be alive.

The Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office reported there were possibly up to three separate avalanches that hit Wardner Peak, which is within the ski area. According to Silver Mountain’s website, that area of the mountain was closed prior to the avalanche.

An employee at the mountain said crews were doing avalanche control blasting earlier near Wardner Peak earlier in the morning. Avalanche advisories were issued across the North Idaho mountains, but not for ski mountains, on Tuesday morning.

The gondola continues to run, but stopped taking skiers and snowboarders up the mountain around 1:30 p.m.

At approximately 11 a.m., an avalanche occurred in the Wardner Peak area. Silver Mountain Ski Patrol responded…

Posted by Silver Mountain on Tuesday, January 7, 2020


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