Arriving at Squaw this morning, I figured that continued heavy snow and low visibility would keep KT closed. Standing in line at Exhibition, I turned around to see that it had started loading. It was 9am sharp and the line was not crazy long. I skated over to KT and was on the chair by 9:10am. My chairmates and I decided to partner up since we were all skiing alone and were a little sketched out about it.
We took one deep and fast run down Chute 75 and another completely untracked run down the Alternates, which had just opened. After our second run, we saw that KT was closed and rode up Exhibition instead. From the top, we could why KT had been shut down — a large avalanche had started above the Fingers, pouring down a crowded slope and sweeping one person off of the chairlift. A search was underway below, with beacons, probes and avy dogs. As far as I know, KT and Exhibition shut down for the day and did not reopen. According to the news reports, there were several injuries, but no fatalities. I’m grateful for that and for the two unexpected and amazing KT runs. Today was a good reminder that conditions are dangerous, even when the resort is open, and to wear a beacon and ski with a partner.