Monday, March 5, 2012

Avalanche buries snowmobiler off Hwy. 88

A snowmobiler riding near Lost Lakes in the area of Carson Pass was caught in an avalanche last Friday, March 2, 2012.  The incident occurred about 3:30pm when the snowmobiler triggered the avalanche.  He was carried down the slope into the trees and was buried.  Riding partners used radio beacons to locate the victim, Daniel Kuhner, age 35, of Minden, Nevada.  Kuhner was buried under 3-4 feet of snow and obviously deceased.  The riders rode their snowmobiles back to the Blue Lakes Road snow park where they reported the avalanche.
The slope and accident scene were determined to be unsafe to recover the body, so the recovery commenced the following day on March 3, 2012.  The Kirkwood Ski Patrol used explosives to eliminate the remaining avalanche danger so the body could be recovered.
An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of death.

As of March 5, 2012 the avalanche risk is "low" with "moderate" risk above and below treeline on slopes 35 degrees and steeper.  "Human triggered avalanches are possible".

Incident video from the Sierra Avalanche Center.

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