According to Scott Schell, the program director for the Northwest Avalanche Center, the body of the deceased has yet to be recovered from the avalanche field.
Schell said the snowslide occurred on the north-facing flank of Mount Herman, a backcountry area adjacent to the Mount Baker Ski Resort, burying one victim and forcing the other to be airlifted to a local hospital.
While no information has been released on the identity of the departed, Schell said that given where the slide occurred, the two victims were likely working their way up the mountain to access the backcountry. Not much else is known about the incident.
“I think it was a pretty frantic situation,” Schell told The Seattle Times. “There was a 911 call placed by some people in the party.”
While officials told the Times that they did not yet know whether or not the victims were traversing the backcountry on skis, snowshoes or snowboards, KING 5 News has described the deceased person as a skier.
Representatives from the Northwest Avalanche Center told KOMO News that this was the 10th avalanche death in the United States in the past 10 days, making this month the deadliest January for slides in almost two decades. It’s also the second avalanche death in Washington in the past four weeks.
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