Incident Statement: January 24, 2017

Category: Press Release

(Squaw Valley, Calif.) January 25, 2017 – UPDATE – Joe Zuiches, a 42 year-old resident of Truckee, CA and a member of the Squaw Valley professional ski patrol since 2012, was killed in a fatal incident at 8:35 AM yesterday morning, prior to regularly scheduled operations, during avalanche control activities at the top of Gold Coast Ridge at Squaw Valley. The cause is believed to be the detonation of an explosive charge, and does not appear to be avalanche related. Squaw Valley Fire was first on scene, and an investigation is ongoing in cooperation with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and North Tahoe Fire Department.

Joe joined the Squaw Valley professional ski patrol team in 2012 with over 10 years’ experience at Winter Park Resort. At Squaw Valley, he worked as a training supervisor and avalanche control route leader. Joe had an avalanche level two certification and was certified through the National Avalanche School and field session. Joe also possessed certifications as an Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) technician and instructor, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Wilderness First Responder (WFR). Joe was a professional mountain guide and mountaineer with significant mountain ascents including Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood, Villarrica, Mt. Baker and over 50 summits of Mt. Shasta.

“We are a family here at Squaw Alpine, and we are grieving Joe’s loss. Joe was a beloved leader in our ski patrol, one who served as a great mentor for his team, and we will never forget his dedication to his fellow patrollers and to the safety of our guests. Joe’s passion for the mountains extended far beyond his work with us: he was an experienced backcountry guide and beloved member of the outdoor community. As we resume operations we do so in Joe’s memory, with heavy hearts and with Joe’s family foremost in our thoughts.” - Andy Wirth, president and CEO, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings

The team at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is deeply saddened by this tragic event, and we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends affected. Joe is survived by his wife and infant son.

The Joe Zuiches Memorial Fund is available at https://www.gofundme.com/squaw-patrol-funeral-fund

(Squaw Valley, Calif.) January 24, 2017 – UPDATE 2:00 PM – Joe Zuiches, a 42 year-old resident of Truckee, CA and a member of the Squaw Valley professional ski patrol since 2012, was killed in a fatal incident at 8:35 AM this morning, prior to regularly scheduled operations, during avalanche control activities at the top of Gold Coast Ridge at Squaw Valley. The cause is believed to be the detonation of an explosive charge, and does not appear to be avalanche related. An investigation is ongoing in cooperation with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and North Tahoe Fire Department. Updates will be posted here as they become available.

The team at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is deeply saddened by this tragic event, and we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends affected. Joe is survived by his wife and infant son.

The Joe Zuiches Memorial Fund has been established and is available here through Go Fund Me.

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(Squaw Valley, Calif.) January 24, 2017 – UPDATE 11:00 AM – Joe Zuiches, a 42 year-old resident of Truckee, CA and a member of the Squaw Valley professional ski patrol since 2012, was killed in a fatal incident at 8:35 AM this morning during avalanche control activities. The incident, which occurred at the top of Gold Coast Ridge at Squaw Valley, does not appear to be avalanche related. North Tahoe Fire Department and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office are on scene, and an investigation is underway. Updates will be posted here as they become available.

The team at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is deeply saddened by this tragic event, and we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends affected.

A press conference has been scheduled for 2:00pm today at the Alpenglow Conference Room in The Village at Squaw Valley.

(Squaw Valley, Calif.) January 24, 2017 – 9:00 AM – A fatal incident occurred at Squaw Valley involving a ski patroller at 8:35 AM this morning during avalanche control activities. He was an employee of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. The victim’s name has not yet been released pending the notification of friends and family. An investigation is underway, and additional updates will be provided as they become available.

The team at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is deeply saddened by this tragic event and would like to express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends affected.

Squaw Valley will be closed for the day. Alpine Meadows will be open today.

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