ALPINE MEADOWS (CBS13) – One skier is dead and another seriously injured after an avalanche struck Alpine Meadows on Friday morning.
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office identified the victim who died as 34-year-old Cole Comstock from Blairsden in Plumas County.
An unnamed second individual suffered severe lower-body injuries and was taken to the hospital by ambulance, deputies said.
Cole Comstock’s wife, Caitlin, released the following statement Friday evening:
“Cole was the most kind-hearted and caring person to his friends and even strangers. He always went out of his way to make everyone feel loved and cared for and welcome and was always the first person to introduce himself to new people because he just wanted to be everyone’s friend. He was extremely hard working and put everyone else’s needs first and never complained once about it. He loved skiing and loved living life. He deeply loved his friends, his family, and above all his wife. He supported everyone with all of his heart and was a true example of unconditional love. If there is one thing about Coles’s life to take away, remember to always be kind to one another and celebrate each other’s victories, not because you need something, but because it is the right thing to do.”
A gofundme has been set up for the Comstock family. To donate, go here.
Squaw Alpine officials said the avalanche happened at around 10:16 a.m. in the area between Scott Chute and Promised Land, near Scott Chair. Members of the Alpine Meadows Ski Patrol responded immediately after the avalanche.
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office tweeted Friday morning that deputies and search and rescue teams were responding to the avalanche site to search for several unaccounted for victims.
The sheriff’s office and Squaw Alpine officials called an end to the search at around 1:20 p.m. and said that all victims have been recovered.
— Placer Sheriff (@PlacerSheriff) January 17, 2020
Witnesses in the area didn’t see any other people involved in the avalanche, Squaw Alpine says.
Crystal Bauer witnessed the avalanche. She said the run Comstock and the other victim were on is considered dangerous. The only reason people were up there on Friday was because of the surplus of powdery snow.
“Snow is coming down, ‘oh jeez.’ It started moving the one skier started to cut left, but the snow started moving so fast and there was so much of it and he couldn’t get out of it,” Bauer said.
The sheriff’s office said they’re treating the avalanche at Alpine Meadows as an “isolated incident” and that the ski resort remains open. Whether the avalanche was a natural or human-triggered occurrence is being investigated.