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Northern California skier identified as man killed in Alpine Meadows avalanche | Update

The avalanche occurred between Scott Chute and Promised Land, near Scott Chair at Alpine Meadows. That area is rated for advanced skiers, officials said.

PLACER COUNTY, Calif. — Update 2:30 p.m.

The Placer County Sheriff's Office has identified the person killed in an avalanche at Alpine Meadows Friday morning.

Cole Comstock, 34, of Blairsden, Calif., was identified as the person killed Friday morning, according to a tweet from the sheriff's office.

Comstock and another person injured in the avalanche were skiing on a very advanced slope, according to Sgt. Mike Powers of the Placer County Sheriff's Office. He described the area as "remote."

RELATED: Exclusive: Wife of man killed in Alpine Meadows avalanche recalls final moments with her husband

"If you're skiing back country, be familiar with avalanche conditions, have avalanche beacons and wear the right equipment," Powers said. It is not known whether Comstock and the other skier had the appropriate equipment.

The second victim is in emergency surgery, Powers said. He added that the sheriff's office plans to talk to them as part of the death investigation, but wants to consider their well-being first.

According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, this is the fifth in 2020. Eight people have died so far this year from avalanches.


One skier was killed and another was seriously injured following an avalanche at Alpine Meadows in Placer County on Friday.

Search and rescue crews responded to an area above the Subway Ski Run around 10:30 a.m. after reports of the avalanche came in, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said.

The avalanche occurred between Scott Chute and Promised Land, near Scott Chair at Alpine Meadows. That area is rated for advanced skiers, according to the sheriff’s office.

One skier was pronounced dead at the scene around 11 a.m. The second skier suffered severe injuries to his lower body and was rushed to the hospital, according to the ski resort. Both confirmed victims so far have only been identified as men, according to Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.

Witnesses said they did not see any other skiers involved and no one else has been reported missing, the ski resort wrote in a press release. They declared the search complete just before 12 p.m.

“The entire Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows team, including all of the first responders, extend their deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased. We are working closely with the families of all the affected individuals to ensure their continued care,” the ski resort wrote.

Sheriff’s deputies and the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team, along with the assistance of avalanche dogs, continued to scour the mountain searching for other potential missing people. Their search was called off around 12:50 p.m. after they confirmed there were no other victims.

Efforts to prevent potential avalanches had been performed in the area before skiers were allowed in, the resort said.

An avalanche at Alpine Meadows in 1982 killed seven people, including several employees of the ski resort.

The storm packing winds in excess of 100 mph dropped 25 inches of snow at the Squaw Valley ski resort near Tahoe City and 22 inches at Northstar near Truckee.

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