A few hours ago, Ken, our across-the-street neighbor in Crestline, emailed to us these pictures of our house. The picture is taken from Ken’s house and although you cannot see it, a street lies between our two places. Massive amounts of snow have fallen–at least 18 inches in Crestline, and in Wrightwood, they have received four feet. Storms are still moving into southern California and more snow is expected in our mountains through next Monday. It is beautiful, and I am longing to be there.
But a few minutes ago on Rimoftheworld.net, Jerry read the news that at one of our resort areas, there have been avalanches, and one person has been killed. You may recall that a few months ago, we had deadly fires, and now there are flood warnings posted for the whole area.
Developing Story: Skier Killed by Mountain High Avalanche (Update)
By Michael P. Neufeld
Friday, January 25, 2008
Rescue officials at Mountain High Ski Resort have just confirmed one victim of an avalanche has died.
Searchers are still looking for a second individual believed to be buried in snow in the Sawmill Canyon area.
Officials originally believed three persons were covered by the walls of snow but are now indicating others may have been trapped.
From Rim of the World Alerts
Update — Saturday 4:00 a.m.
Wrightwood, CA – The San Bernardino County Coroner has confirmed that two skiers trapped in avalanches near the Mountain High Ski Resort have died.
The first victim, Michael McKay, 23, was sking when he was overcome by an avalanche. He was located by search teams and transported to Desert Valley Hospital in Victorville at 3:10 p.m. Despite resuscitative efforts, McKay was pronounced dead at 4:22 p.m. He was an employee of Mountain High and worked Ski Patrol.
The second victim has been identified as 31-year-old Darin Coffey who was an employee of CalFire (California Department of Forestry).
Search and Rescue teams located Coffey in a second avalanche area just before 9 p.m. Friday. Paramedics transported Coffey to Arowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton at 10:48 p.m. He was pronounced dead at 12:14 am. this morning.
The two deaths are being investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Autopsies of the two Wrightwood residents will be conducted this week to determine the cause of death.
My joy at the beautiful weather has been tempered by this disappointing news.
Respect the weather. Be prepared when you go into wilderness areas. Carry chains, obey all posted signs, and don’t ski in areas where there are threats of avalanche. Of course all accidents can’t be prevented, and sometimes “nature” surprises us with her ferocity.
Let us pray for the family of the person who has lost his/her life, and for those who are still missing.
My devotional blog is here.