STEVENS PASS, Wash. (AP) — When disaster struck, a group of expert skiers who survived a large weekend avalanche in an out-of-bounds area near a Washington state ski resort turned on their emergency beacons and began looking for signs of life.
Powder Magazine senior editor John Stifter, who witnessed the slide that killed three of his skiing companions Sunday, said one person made it through by bear-hugging a tree and holding on as the snow barreled over him. Another skier who was caught in the slide was saved when she deployed an airbag, designed to keep her afloat.
"It's an absolute horror story," Stifter said Monday.
Experts say once an avalanche has you in its grips, the chances of surviving are slim.