Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2000-01-30
Submitted By: Mt. Shasta Avalanche Center, Matt Hill
Place: Diamond Peak, Lassen Volcanic NP
State: CA
Country: USA
Summary: 1 skier caught, buried 6 hours

On January 30th National Park Service personnel, National Ski Patrol Volunteers and Tehama County Sherriff's Search and Rescue successfully rescued a cross-country skier that had been buried by an avalanche for nearly six hours in approximately five feet of snow and was found in a sitting position.

The individuals were doing some snow camping and cross country skiing in an area called Diamond Peak, in Lassen Volcanic National Park. At 12:15p.m., the park personnel received notification from an individual that his partner had been buried in an avalanche. The reporting party gave incorrect directions as to where the incident had occurred. The search team did not reach the RP until four hours from the time it was reported which was 12:15 p.m which was 1620 hours. At 1715 hours a member of the California Rescue Dogs Association, Ms. Claudia Houghton and search dog Nikiya, arrived on scene.The location was a 1 mile north of Diamond Peak. The search team found clues of the buried victim and determined the last seen area. They were able to narrow the search area and started probing. A National Ski Patrol volunteer was spot probing the area and got a hit. They had the dog alerted in that same area after the hit. Searchers dug down and found the avalanche victim five feet under the snow in a sitting position. . The victim was given first aid and transported immediately. At the hospital, the victim's body temperature was recorded as 89F with no other injuries. The individual was released from the hospital 2-1-00.

The avalanche had a crown of 12" and was 200 yards wide and ran less than 50 ft. It was a road cut that slid when crossing underneath it. Pretty Lucky!

Mt. Shasta Avalanche Center