Miramonte High School's Newspaper

The Mirador

Miramonte High School's Newspaper

The Mirador

Miramonte High School's Newspaper

The Mirador

Avalanche Kills One at Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort

Avalanche+Kills+One+at+Palisades+Tahoe+Ski+Resort

Ski season has begun! Palisades Tahoe ski resort opened their slopes mid-November, creating anticipation among skiers for another epic ski season. However, the mountain fell short of meeting the avid skiers’ high standards, with challenging conditions such as low levels of snow, exposed rocks, dirt, and tree branches on the mountain. Luckily, in December the weather  took an unexpected turn with large floods of snow blanketing almost all 6,000 acres of Palisades mountain. 

Eager to shred the mountain, many Miramonte skiers went up to Tahoe over winter break to experience the fresh powder. “I have skied at Palisades most of my life, so I’m very familiar with the mountain. The quality of skiing is much better when there is a lot of snow, so I am hoping Tahoe will get more and more snowfalls soon,” senior Tali Stryker said. 

On Wednesday, January 10, 2024, the much-anticipated opening of KT-22 at Palisades Ski Resort marked a significant event for skiers. However, the early morning took a turn for the worst when the skiers triggered a 150-foot-wide sheet of snow that slid down the slope of KT-22 and piled to 10 feet deep. The avalanche’s overwhelming power and speed caught the skiers off guard, leading to three individuals being buried under the snow. In response to the avalanche, the Palisades ski patrol sprang into action, initiating a search for the missing individuals. Two individuals were rescued and ended up safe, but Kenneth Kidd, 66, lost his life in the avalanche. In the aftermath of losing a valued member of the Palisades skiing community, Palisades came together to support the Kidd’s family and friends. “My family, friends, and I have skied at Palisades since we were young so hearing about the avalanche was really emotional. Going forward I hope that the Palisades team increases the safety measures after a storm so that we can all ski without any fear,” senior Callie Barber said. 

There are some tactics that skiers can use to stay safe in the event of an avalanche. According to CBC News, the President of Ski California, Michael Reitzell, recommends that skiers never ski alone, instead always have at least one companion in sight. Reitzell also recommends using a whistle or beacon, which is a device that sends a radio signal to authorities with a location if one happens to get caught in a dangerous situation on the slopes. By following these precautions, skiers can enjoy the mountain while staying safe. “After hearing about the avalanche, my friends and I are going to be more cautious and always look out for each other on the slopes,” Barber said. 

Palisades has been deeply impacted by the avalanche and is working towards keeping the mountain safe, so such an incident never happens again. In tragedies such as the avalanche, the collective mourning for a lost member and the determination to implement safety measures demonstrate a shared commitment to the well-being of every individual within the Palisades community. 

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About the Contributor
Janie Hollerbach, Staff Writer
I decided to take Mirador because this class gives me the opportunity to write about topics that can positively impact my community. The class environment is unlike any other, and I am so happy to be a part of it!
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