Friend of Avalanche Victim Says Resort Failed to ActBy Rocky Thompson on January 9th, 2013
On Christmas Eve a group of friends were riding Donner Ski Ranch, located in California atop Donner Summit. One of them heard a roar and then witnessed what he calls “a pretty serious avalanche” that was “heading down the bunny hill towards the lodge.” A check-in with friends revealed that one was missing. He wasn’t in the lodge, at the car, and he wouldn’t answer his phone. He contacted ski patrol, who he says relied on eyewitnesses to say no one was missing. Five hours later, the man called the Placer County Sheriff’s Department which initiated a search and rescue. Hours later, his friend’s body was recovered in the slide. Donner Ski Ranch released a statement saying that due to an ongoing investigation, they cannot release any information.
The news coverage falls short. It doesn’t report on whether the slide was in-bounds, or even where it really occurred. At any rate, the loss is tragic, and I hope an investigation will yield answers for everyone.