Sierra ski patrol member dies after avalanche

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Associated Press

Posted on December 25, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 25 at 10:05 PM

TRUCKEE, Calif. (AP) — A member of a Sierra ski resort's patrol team who was injured after being caught in an avalanche has died — the second death connected to avalanches that occurred in the area on Monday.

Bill Foster, 53, died at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nev., where he was taken after the avalanche a day earlier at Alpine Meadows near Lake Tahoe, the resort said in a statement on Tuesday.

Resort spokeswoman Amelia Richmond said she did not know whether Foster, a 28-year veteran with the resort's ski patrol team, died Monday night or Tuesday.

Foster was buried in a slide that had been intentionally set with an explosive device by a senior member of the ski patrol team. The team was doing avalanche control in an area closed to the public on the back side of the resort.

The avalanche broke much higher and wider on the slope than in past snow safety missions, according to the resort.

Foster was located in about a minute and uncovered within eight minutes. Members of the ski patrol team performed CPR before he was taken to the hospital.

An avalanche at a neighboring Sierra resort on Monday also claimed a life. Steven Mark Anderson, 49, of Truckee, Calif., was buried in an avalanche while snowboarding at Donner Ski Ranch, about 90 miles northeast of Sacramento.

A search dog found his body under 2 to 3 feet of snow at the base of the avalanche.

Tahoe-area ski resorts received at least 3 feet of snow in a series of storms from Friday through Sunday, leading to dangerous conditions even within ski area boundaries.

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