Brett Herrick, 62, went missing around 11:30 a.m. on Monday near the Comet run, off the Stagecoach Lodge area on the Nevada side of Heavenly. The Mercury News his girlfriend was the last one to see him.
“What we believe happened is that he was off the trail skiing in some very deep powder, and his ski tips crossed and he went over face first and couldn’t get out. It’s called snow immersion, and you drown, and it can happen when you’re in powder that’s as deep as the powder we have.” –Douglas County Undersheriff Paul Howell
Historic February storms had dumped 108 inches of snow at Heavenly over the seven days prior to Tuesday and rescuers were reportedly “sinking to their hips” while extricating the victim.
This is a tragic story that highlights the importance of using the buddy system on deep snow days. Please ski with a friend and watch this quick video about snow immersion suffocation safety:
images from Heavenly IG