Accident at Squaw Valley leaves ski patrol employee dead |

Accident at Squaw Valley leaves ski patrol employee dead

Amanda Rhodes
Special to The Union

OLYMPIC VALLEY — Squaw Valley Ski Resort issued a statement Tuesday confirming a ski patrol employee died during avalanche control procedures at about 8:35 a.m. Tuesday.

According to a news release from the resort, the victim was 42-year-old Joe Zuiches, a resident of Olympic Valley and a member of the Squaw Valley professional ski patrol since 2012.

According to the statement, Squaw Valley remained closed for the rest of Tuesday. Alpine Meadows was open.

“The team at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is deeply saddened by this tragic event and would like to express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends affected,” the resort said in its statement.

A news release states the incident occurred at the top of Gold Coast Ridge and “does not appear to be avalanche related,” but does not provide further details. Multiple sources familiar with the resort have confirmed to the Sierra Sun that the incident involved the use of explosives.

Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, told reporters during an afternoon news conference that the investigation is ongoing and there is no estimate at this time when it will be complete.

According to Squaw’s statement, officials with the North Tahoe Fire Protection District and Placer County Sheriff’s Office are on scene.

Amanda Rhodes is a reporter for the Sierra Sun, a sister publication of The Union based in Truckee.

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