OLYMPIC VALLEY – One person has died and another person was injured in an avalanche at the Palisades Tahoe resort on Wednesday, according to authorities.
The sheriff’s office identified the man killed as 66-year-old Kenneth Kidd, who has residences in Point Reyes and Truckee-Tahoe.
Four people were caught, including two people who were buried, a man who died and one other person who was injured, officials confirmed during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
No other people are believed to be missing, authorities said.
A womansaid she fell about 200 feet and was buried before she was saved by a stranger.
In a statement from the resort, officials said that the avalanche happened around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday on the Palisades side above the GS gully area of KT-22. At 9:28 a.m., the resort’s mountain operations team tweeted that KT-22 was on patrol hold.
Palisades Tahoe said its resort will reopen at 9 a.m. Thursday but the KT-22 terrain will remain closed. The resort is also cautioning guests that delays will be more significant than usual.
Palisades Tahoe trail map
The debris field is about 150 feet wide, 450 feet long, and 10 feet deep, according to the sheriff’s office.
Palisades Tahoe mountain operations confirmed to CBS13 that, on Wednesday, they conducted avalanche mitigation efforts in the area of the avalanche.
More than 100 personnel from Palisades Tahoe helped in the search. Cal Fire also said it moved resources and personnel to help with possible rescue efforts, according to the California governor’s office.
A skier who was on the lift and saw the avalanche shared her story with CBS13, saying that she and others jumped in and helped with search efforts.
Rep. Kevin Kiley, whose 3rd Congressional District encompasses the area of the resort, said in a statement his office is in contact with the Placer County Office of Emergency Services.
“We are grateful to our first responders who are hard at work conducting the search,” Kiley wrote.
According to the resort’s website, all lifts at Palisades and Alpine are now closed for the day.
Avalanches are a known danger in the Tahoe region, with the Sierra Avalanche Center publishing daily danger forecasts. Wednesday’s avalanche danger rating was “considerable” for all levels the center tracks.
Back in 2020, an avalanche at Alpine Meadows killed one skier.
Up until Wednesday, there have been no U.S. avalanche-related fatalities in 2024, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. Last year, there were 30 fatalities nationwide, with two occurring in California: One was as hiker on Split Mountain, southwest of Big Pine, and one was a backcountry skier at Hurd Peak, southwest of Bishop.
Palisades Tahoe, which hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics, is one of the region’s most popular ski resorts. It was renamed in 2021 after a push by Native American groups over the derogatory history of the original name.