Skiers rescued after avalanche near Snoqualmie Pass

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on April 6, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 12 at 10:06 AM

SEATTLE – Rescue crews on Wednesday night brought down all five skiers who were caught up in an avalanche near Snoqualmie Pass.

At about 9:30 a.m., five Seattle-area men were backcountry skiing on the southwest side of Snoqualmie Mountain in an area called Phantom Slide when they were caught in a snow slide.

The men had cell phones and were able to call for help.

The King County Sheriff's Office says one man suffered a broken leg, another had a knee injury. The other three were not hurt.

"Fortunately, none of them were completely buried, so that was a huge thing in their favor," said Bree Loewen of Seattle Mountain Rescue.  "If they had been completely buried, it would have been a whole different situation."

It took about two hours to reach the skiers and even longer to get them down. Heavy snow fell last night at the site of the avalanche at the 5,700-foot level, complicating the effort to reach the men. About 40 rescuers were on the scene.

The risk of avalanches remains high for skiers and drivers. About 10 miles east, a natural slide came down onto I-90, hitting a car and pushing it into the jersey barrier. Two adults and two children were hurt, but the injuries were minor. Snow from the slide blocked both eastbound lanes.

King County Search and Rescue Association

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