The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office identified an Issaquah man Monday as the person killed in an avalanche on Crystal Mountain.
Robert Weisel, 66, and five other men went out for a day of ski touring Saturday at the Silver Basin area, which straddles the south end of the resort’s ski boundary, that wasn’t yet open, and where the ski patrol had not completed its avalanche-control work, according to a statement Crystal Mountain Resort posted on its website.
The avalanche was triggered around 10:50 a.m., just as the group was making its way uphill, according to Crystal Mountain.
The group was equipped with electronic avalanche beacons and those who survived were either rescued or were able to dig themselves out of the snow, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. Weisel was pulled from under the snow but had stopped breathing and could not be revived, authorities said.
The medical examiner determined he died from multiple blunt force injuries. The identities of the five survivors have not been released.
Frank DeBerry, president and chief operation officer of Crystal Mountain Resort, said on Saturday he did not know if the other men in the group required medical attention.
Weisel is the first person to die on the mountain since 2019, officials from the resort said. His death marks the first avalanche fatality in the U.S. for the 2021-2022 season, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center