Remarkable report tells the story of fateful avalanche in Washington that killed three

Elyse Saugstad survived the avalanche.

Elyse Saugstad survived the avalanche.

Last February’s fatal avalanche in Washington’s Cascades at Tunnel Creek behind Stevens Creek Ski Resort claimed three lives and focused national attention on backcountry safety. The New York Times has just published a remarkable re-telling of the day in Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek.

This compelling, multi-part story blends traditional narrative seamlessly with streaming images that show topographic maps of where the avalanche happened, interactive graphics that illustrate what made the snow slide and how the air bag deployed that may have saved the life of skier Elyse Saugstad. There’s even a weather map showing the movement of the storm that created the unstable snow.

And after all that, there’s a video documentary in the words of the survivors. It’s an exhaustively reported, respectful story of the tragedy. For those who want to learn more about this fateful day and backcountry skiing in general, it’s a tremendous effort that brings you right into the events of that day.  Read it now.

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