Skiers swept away in massive snow slide

POSTED: Monday, February 20, 2012 - 11:45am

UPDATED: Monday, February 20, 2012 - 11:49am

Three people ared dead after a Sunday avalanche in Washington's Stevens Pass.

The avalanche occurred at Tunnel Creek Canyon Road in an out of bounds area described as being ski at your own risk.

Brent Felt said he saw groups of skiers climbing over a place called, Seventh Heaven, heading into the back country.

'I was thinking to myself you know that's a lot of people going out of bounds at this moment but 14 inches of new snow and people want to get some more fresh powder, you know they're going to go seek it out,' he said.

When the snow cut loose, it swept up the three groups of skiers in an avalanche.

'At one point after the avalanche they're all buried in the snow,' said Sgt. Kathleen Larson, King County Sheriff's Office. 'They manage to dig themselves out of the snow. At that point they realize that three of them are in distress. They begin CPR.'

Unfortunately CPR didn't work.

Three men, ages 30, 35 and 45, were pronounced dead.

A fourth person survived.

'There is signage up, letting everybody know that these are out of bounds areas and they opted to ski those particular areas,' said Larson.

Felt said he noticed that when he saw those skiers headed out they had the right equipment with them.

'They had their beacons, sensors that were going off every time they were going through the sensory zone,' he said.

The fourth skier in the group survived because she was wearing a device used to provide air if swept up in an avalanche.

Also Sunday, a snowboarder was killed in a separate incident at the Alpental ski area at Snoqualmie Pass.

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