A snowboarder died in an avalanche on Monday; 49-year-old Steven Mark Anderson of California was killed after being buried in the snow. He was one of several skiers and boarders injured in the Lake Tahoe area.
According to Deputy David Lade, police received a call about a missing man three hours after the avalanche occurred. His friends spent those three hours trying to find Anderson, to no avail. He got caught in the slide of excess snow that was dumped in the Tahoe region over the weekend.
"We had been telling ski patrol 'we're missing a guy, we're missing a guy,' but they didn't start looking for him until two to three hours later," Katana Curven, one of those in Anderson's party, told KCRA News.
"They spent a lot of time trying to locate him," Lade told the Associated Press. "With the extremely heavy snowfall we've gotten over the last three days and the conditions prior to that, it's prime avalanche conditions," he explained.
Rescuers finally located Anderson after he'd been in the snow for five hours; it was too late for anything to be done at that point. He was found "at the base of the mountain about three feet under the snow near a rocky ridge," KCRA News reported.
Anderson was not the only one involved in an avalanche slide during over the past week. Squaw Valley USA and Alpine Meadows, both in the Tahoe area, reported incidents due to avalanches. Fortunately no one else was killed due to the snow. One man was actually the victim of an intentional avalanche set off with explosives.
"The charge triggered the avalanche, which broke much higher and wider on the slope than previously observed in past snow safety missions," the Alpine Meadows said in a statement.
Then, on Sunday, a 39-year-old woman and 16-year-old boy were treated for injuries after an avalanche. Neither had been buried, though, and were released.