Rescuers dig up snowboarder hit by avalanche on mountain
Obtained by ABC News(OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif.) — A tip of a snowboard peeking out from smothering avalanche snow helped rescuers at the Squaw Valley Ski Resort find and dig up one man.
Following an avalanche on Friday, rescuers found the clue and carefully dug by hand and shovel — they managed to find the man alive and lucid.
In a video capturing the moment, a woman in pink snow pants can be seen wiping fresh snowflakes off the trapped snowboarder’s beard.
One rescuer can be heard saying, “Keep digging around him.”
Another offered praise for the person who managed to make out the nose of a snowboard and ultimately the find the survivor’s whereabouts saying, “Whoever spotted that snowboard sticking out there — good job.”
The avalanche crashed down as a blizzard set in bringing heavy wind gusts around the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
When it hit, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, five people were stranded on the Squaw Valley Ski Resort.
One man was transported to a hospital after suffering a lower body injury, another was treated for injuries and released and three others escaped the incident unharmed.
Only hours before the avalanche, sheriffs discovered the body of a missing snowboarder identified as 42-year-old Wenyu Zhang, of nearby Rocklin, California.
Zhang, according to the sheriff’s statement, was wearing a helmet.
The cause of his death is “undetermined.”
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