Chris Terpstra sent me a link to a Seattle Times article on the number of people killed, or missing, in avalanches this year. Sadly, an additional person was lost in Snohomish County just last evening. That’s nine lives so far, and the majority of the season is still ahead of us. To put that in perspective, excluding the 1910 Wellington disaster, Washington normally sees about 1 fatality a year due to avalanches.

Backcountry travelers should always be wary when venturing out. From late Fall through Early spring, everyone in the wilderness should be carrying a shovel, probe, and an avalanche transceiver, in addition to normal survival gear. Travelers should have taken a course in avalanche safety, and should always check the backcountry avalanche conditions.

Here’s hoping we’ve seen the last of the fatalities.