On Tuesday morning, Heavenly Ski Resort’s avalanche dogs found the body of missing skier Brett Herrick under a significant amount of snow and less than 100 feet from the groomed run.
The 62-year-old man was visiting from Seaside, California with his girlfriend when he went missing on Monday. He separated from his girlfriend around 11:30 am and his body was found a little under 24 hours later between the Comet and Dipper runs. He was in an inbounds area that was perfectly legal for him to access.
“What we believe happened is that he was off the trail skiing in some very deep powder, and his ski tips crossed and he went over face first and couldn’t get out,” Douglas County Undersheriff Paul Howell told The Mercury News. “It’s called snow immersion, and you drown, and it can happen when you’re in powder that’s as deep as the powder we have.”
The snow is deep in the Sierra Nevada right now, with over 9 feet falling on Heavenly in the past week. For many Tahoe ski resorts, this month has seen historic snowfall in a short amount of time.
For skiers, all that snow brings dangers to the mountain. If possible, ride the powder with other skiers to avoid getting stuck or lost.