Search begins for missing skier after Tahoe-area avalanche

RENO -- Searchers were looking for a skier presumed trapped in an avalanche near a ski resort above Lake Tahoe's northeast shore, authorities said.

Mt. Rose ski resort spokesman Murray Blaney said the avalanche was triggered Sunday afternoon after three skiers entered an out-of-bounds area known as the Chute just to the east of the resort.

Two skiers made it back to the lodge about 3:35 p.m. to report that a 25-year-old male friend was missing.

Washoe County sheriff's searchers then were notified and joined resort ski patrol members in a search for the man. The search was later called off for the night because of extreme avalanche danger, Blaney said.

"His friends have not seen him since and the assumption we make is that he's trapped in the avalanche," Blaney said. "We're just hoping for the best."

Washoe County sheriff's Sgt. Dan Brown said searchers also were hampered by snow, cold temperatures and poor visibility. A weekend storm dumped up to 4 feet of snow at the resort.

Sheriff's officials planned to resume the search Monday morning if weather permitted. The National Weather Service was calling for up to 3 more feet of snow on Monday.

The resort is located 22 miles southwest of Reno.


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