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Avalanche Kills Three Climbers in U.S.A.

The avalanche hazard has been high in many mountain ranges over the past few days

Snow conditions have been sketchy throughout much of Canada and the U.S.A. this winter, and tragically three more climbers have been killed by an avalanche n Central Washington. A group of six climbers were on Colchuck Peak when the lead climber triggered an avalanche that buried climbers below them. The mountain is close to Cascade Mountains Village of Leavenworth east of Seattle.

The accident occurred 1 p.m. on Sunday at around 2,500 metres, Chelan County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Reinfeld said. “It sounds like the lead climber actually caused the avalanche by planting his ice ax and he triggered a slab that they were on to slide,” Reinfeld said. “The ice ax created a crack that allowed the slab to slide.”

Reinfeld said no climber was to blame for the incident. “That is something that happens,” he said. “You can mitigate those risks by knowing avalanche conditions and being aware of what could trigger it and how hazardous conditions are.” He said the climbers died of trauma and not from being buried.

The deceased included a man, 53, from Connecticut; a woman, 60, from New York state; and another man, 66, from New Jersey. At least nine people have died in avalanches in western Canada this year.

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