The Beauty and Deadliness of Snow

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, 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.

8 thoughts on “The Beauty and Deadliness of Snow

  1. Yes, Jana’s correct. And, I tried to click and drag it from “my photos” and it doesn’t work. You’ll have to load them onto your Flickr account.

    1. From the email, put them in your “my photos”
    2. Load them onto your Flickr acct.


  2. Sorry about the picture. I don’t know what the problem is, unless it is because I copied it from an email message. I have tried a different way, but don’t know if it is visible or not, as it has always showed clearly on my site.

    Jerry can’t get on the internet on his computer at the moment. Our service here is spotty–especially for his computer.

    Now, I have an APPLE!…and am clearly on the internet at the moment.


  3. Esther

    Sis. Buxton, there is no place to click to see the pics of your house. ????
    Hi, Esther. I don’t know what the problem is. You shouldn’t have to click on anything. On my screen the picture is right after the first paragraph. I talked to Rebecca last night and she couldn’t see it either, but she is having computer problems and we thought that’s what is was. I’ll see if I can do anything different.


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