The fatal toll of Sierra avalanches |

The fatal toll of Sierra avalanches

In the past eight years, 230 people – an average of about 32 a year – have been killed by avalanches in several western states, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. In all but one year of that period, California snowslides killed at least one person, mostly in the Tahoe-Donner area. Following are some of the recent avalanche fatalities in California and Nevada:

Jan. 1, 2004

Joseph Gashler, a 37-year-old cross-country skier, was killed when he and a friend were caught in an avalanche in the Castle Peak area just north of Donner Summit.

April 26, 2003

A snowmobile user was killed by avalanche in Charity Valley near Carson Pass in Alpine County, south of South Lake Tahoe.

Dec. 15, 2002

A 25-year-old snowboarder, riding out of bounds east of the Mount Rose Ski Resort on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe in Nevada, was killed by avalanche.

March 8, 2002

One man died in the backcountry outside Sugar Bowl Ski resort when he and two others triggered an avalanche by standing on an overhanging cornice. None of the men was wearing an avalanche beacon.

Feb. 21, 2001

Two teenagers were killed by an avalanche as they skied out of bounds between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.

Feb. 06, 1999

A 21-year-old man was killed when he and three friends were caught in an avalanche while playing in the snow near Lake Mary in the Donner Summit area.

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