A significant avalanche struck Palisades Tahoe on Wednesday morning, leading to one confirmed death and prompting an urgent search and rescue operation by the resort’s mountain operations teams.
“The avalanche caused one fatality and one injury,” wrote the Placer County Sheriff in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with their family members at this difficult time.”
The avalanche occurred at approximately 9:30 a.m. local time on the Palisades side of the resort mountain, specifically above the GS bowl area of KT-22. In response to the incident, the resort decided to close both sides of the mountain for the remainder of Wednesday.
At approximately 9:30am today at Palisades Tahoe, an avalanche occurred on the Palisades side, specifically above the GS gully area of KT-22. Our Patrol and mountain operations teams are performing a search at this time. Both sides of our mountain will be closed for the day. pic.twitter.com/SpvwoUAsn9— Palisades Tahoe (@palisadestahoe) January 10, 2024
There are reports that another person was injured in the incident, but according to the sheriff’s office, there are no other known victims.
“No further missing persons have been reported. More than 100 Palisades personnel participated in a beacon search, and two probe lines have been completed.”
The Sierra Avalanche Center had warned of the potential for avalanches on Wednesday, citing the influence of a powerful winter storm in the region as a contributing factor.
Video footage captured by Live Storms Media showed a substantial emergency response at the snow-covered resort, including fire trucks and police vehicles. Medical personnel were seen attending to patients inside the resort’s medical building.
JUST IN: Emergency search teams have been deployed in response to an avalanche at Palisades Tahoe ski resort in Olympic Valley, CA.— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) January 10, 2024
According to Live Storms Media, multiple people are trapped under the snow, reporting there are "numerous entrapments and injuries."
An eyewitness… pic.twitter.com/MCb1K0G9KM
The avalanche is described as “major” and has reportedly led to “numerous entrapments and injuries,” according to reports. Olympic Valley Firefighters mentioned that at least one patient was undergoing CPR, while another was receiving treatment for a broken leg.
We will continue to report on this situation as more information is made available.