A woman hiker has died and another hiker is missing after a pair of avalanches occurred in the Cascade Mountains in Washington state this weekend, authorities said.
The woman's name has not been released. She was found not moving and somewhat conscious after fellow hikers nearby dug her out of five feet of snow. Rescuers "hiked her out through blizzard like conditions," Kings County Sheriff officials said in a news release. Medics later confirmed she had died.
The first avalanche took place around noon at Granite Mountain, knocking three men who were on snowshoes to the ground. Two emerged injured from the snow, however the third, a 60-year-old man, whose identity has not been released, did not.
Due to poor weather conditions, the search was indefinitely suspended today for the missing hiker.
"They started out, everything's fine, they're in a gully-type area -- when they're hit by the avalanche," Sgt. Katie Larson, spokeswoman for the King County Sheriff's Office, told ABC News' Seattle affiliate KOMO-TV.
Larson said one of the men was carrying a GPS device, which showed they were carried 1,200 feet down the mountain at speeds up to 53 miles per hour.
One of the rescued snowshoers has a shoulder injury, while the other injured his hamstring, she said.
The second avalanche occurred at Red Mountain, a half hour after the first, striking 12 snowshoers and the female hiker.
A team of 100 rescuers, some with search dogs, fanned out in the area on Saturday to search for the missing snowshoer, however heavy snowfall and fading daylight hampered the search and rescue mission, forcing the teams to retreat for the night.
Tragedy struck in the area last year when three world-class skiiers were killed by an avalanche at Stevens Pass.Also Read