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Girdwood-raised skier featured in NY Times account of deadly Wash. avalanche

Girdwood-raised pro skier Elyse Saugstad is featured prominently in a gripping six-part New York Times multimedia narrative of February's Stevens Pass, Wash., avalanche that killed three skiers but spared Saugstad, who was the only victim wearing an inflatable air-bag flotation backpack.   

At first she thought she would be embarrassed that she had deployed her air bag, that the other expert skiers she was with, more than a dozen of them, would have a good laugh at her panicked overreaction. Seconds later, tumbling uncontrollably inside a ribbon of speeding snow, she was sure this was how she was going to die.

The Daily News interviewed Saugstad shortly after the avalanche. "We weren't being idiots," she said. "We understood the dangers and followed all the safety protocols. We went one at a time, moving section to section, ping-ponging our way down the hill."

The Times story, however, makes it clear that many in the group of skiers had misgivings about the potential for avalanches that day.

Read much more at The New York Times: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek




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