A snowmobiler is dead after his group of 5 was caught in an avalanche near Stampede Pass on Sunday in Washington State reports ABS News.
The victim, 32 year-old Joseph Simenstad was taking a break from riding with his wife, Sable and friends when the slide released. Ultimately, the married couple and another were fully buried while 2 others were only partially buried. People in the area who witnessed the slide quickly responded, digging out those who were buried. Unfortunately, Joseph Simenstad would not survive the ordeal and later died from injuries sustained in the avalanche. The avalanche danger at the time was marked as ‘high’ to ‘extreme’ and is currently posted on the NWAC website ‘considerable.’
*Our deepest condolences go out to the victim’s friends and family.
Find the entire ABC News article here: Avalanche strikes hiking party, killing 1 and burying 2 others
Full Kittitas County Sheriff’s Department Press Release:
Kittitas County, WA – 02/25/2018 – Members from the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue responded to the Stampede Pass area this afternoon when 5 snowmobilers were swept in an avalanche while eating lunch at the base of the slope.
The group, friends from Western Washington, were sledding in the area of Mirror Lake, which is located South of I-90 and Lake Keechelus. They stopped for a break and to have some lunch when the slope above them broke free. When the slide stopped, 32 year old Joseph Simenstad, his wife, 30 year old Sabel Simenstad of Issaquah and 24 year old Josh Winter of Snohomish were fully buried. 29 year old Tyler Johnson of Renton and another man, whose name is not known at this time, were partially buried. Working with others in the area, all were dug out. Josh Winter was unconscious when recovered but was able to be revived. Mrs. Simenstad suffered minor injuries, but her husband, Joseph, had suffered extensive trauma and could not be revived.
Per Undersheriff Myers;
“On behalf of the Sheriff’s Office, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Mr. Simenstad as they work through the loss of their loved one. We would like to remind those of you who recreate in the back country to be cautious of the past and current conditions, as they can change rapidly and without warning. Avalanche conditions are often the result of previous weather, sometimes from weeks prior. We encourage you to research and educate yourselves from the many sources available. Just Google ‘Avalanche Danger’.”