Wrightwood, CA – January 26, 2008: This week, storms dropped up to four feet of snow in the San Gabriel Mountain Range in the Angeles National Forest. The heavy snowfall drew thousands of skiers and snowboarders to local resorts, but conditions turned deadly when visitors ventured beyond Mountain High Resort’s posted boundaries.
Beginning on Friday afternoon, San Bernardino County Fire Department and Antelope Valley Search and Rescue, with the assistance of Mountain High personnel, responded to reports of missing persons and began working to locate them.
Three skiers triggered an avalanche in Government Canyon, located just east of Mountain High’s posted boundary, that eventually cost one skier his life. The victim, a male in his early 20s, was located and transported via ambulance to Desert Community Hospital in Victorville, CA where he was later pronounced dead. In a separate area known as Sawmill Canyon, also beyond the resort’s posted boundary, avalanches took the lives of two other skiers.
Additionally, a male snowboarder in his early twenties exited the resort’s boundaries and ended up south of the resort in the San Gabriel river valley. After spending the night outdoors, that visitor hiked out under his own recognizance and sustained only minor injuries.
Mountain High offers its condolences to the families of the deceased individuals and wishes them the best during these difficult times. Mountain High Resort does not promote out-of-bounds skiing and recommends that all visitors stay within resort boundaries.