They Reopened the Slopes. Then Came the Avalanche

2 dead, 5 rescued at Idaho's Silver Mountain Resort
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2020 11:20 AM CST
They Reopened the Slopes. Then Came the Avalanche
In this Feb. 25, 2013, file photo, a skier takes advantage of the snowy conditions in Kellogg, Idaho.   (Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review via AP)

Two people were killed Tuesday when an avalanche buried a portion of mountain slope at a ski resort in northern Idaho. Five others were rescued on the scene at Silver Mountain Resort in Kellogg, the Shoshone County Sheriff's Office said early Wednesday, per the New York Times, which describes reports of three separate avalanches. Mayor Mac Pooler said 16 to 18 inches of snow fell overnight before it began to slide from the 6,200-foot Wardner Peak area around 11am. One deceased victim was found under 10 feet of snow early in the day, per the Shoshone News-Press. The other—the last of all seven victims to be found—reportedly wasn't located until after dark.

The Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center had warned of an avalanche risk just before 6am Tuesday, per the Washington Post. KHQ reports the Wardner Peak area was closed to skiers and snowboarders as of 9am but reopened shortly before the avalanche occurred. "I've never heard of an avalanche up there that actually trapped anybody," Pooler told the Times. None of the victims have been identified. The resort described the five people rescued as having "minor injuries," per the Post. "Silver Mountain extends our deepest condolences to everyone affected, and out of respect to the families, no further comments will be released at this time," reads a statement released late Tuesday. (Read more avalanche stories.)

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