On Thursday, an avalanche in the Three Sisters Wilderness region claimed the life of a backcountry skier. Black Crater is a steep-sided shield volcano in the Cascade Range north of the Three Sisters and east of McKenzie Pass, and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit was sent to the scene after reports of an avalanche.
A skier reported to Deschutes County 911 that he and a friend had been skiing in the caldera of Black Crater when an avalanche had been caused and that the friend was missing and potentially injured.
Avalanche beacons, shovels, helmets, and avalanche probes were all present and accounted for by both skiers. The caller used his avalanche beacon to find and save his friend. Unfortunately, his injured companion had already passed away.
We found a tweet from News World Bulletin about the death of a person in an avalanche
— news worldbulletin (@NWorldbulletin) March 4, 2023
Help arrived as a search and rescue team from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Forest Service, who worked together to get the caller to safety. Rescue workers called off their operations Thursday night due to the high risk of avalanches and the waning light.
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Search and Rescue personnel and their community allies are now recovering the victim.