Thursday morning search crews found the body of a snowboarder who went missing from Alpine Meadows Ski Resort on Tuesday afternoon. Searchers spotted her body in a tree well early Thursday, according to authorities. Rescue personnel lowered to the ground from a helicopter confirmed that the body was that of the missing 25-year-old snowboarder, said Placer County Sheriff’s Capt.
Though an autopsy will make a final determination, initial indications were that boarder died of injuries she likely sustained by crashing into a tree the day she went missing. The weather – so severe that rescuers for days could not access the area where she was found – also may have played a role in her death. Such conditions make avoiding trees extremely challenging.
The victim was reported missing early Tuesday afternoon after she got separated from her friends, an Alpine Meadows spokeswoman said earlier this week. She reportedly was seen snowboarding away from the resort, past ski-area boundary signs near the top of Wolverine Bowl, a Black Diamond slope. She was found on the back side of the mountain in an area known as the Granite Chief Wilderness and about 400 feet below the Pacific Crest Trail. Following her disappearance, that area has been the scene of 80- to 100 mile-an-hour winds, high avalanche danger and blinding snow.