Snowboarder dies in central Oregon avalanche

Paulina Peak Newberry Crater, Deschutes National Forest
Paulina Peak Newberry Crater, Deschutes National Forest(U.S. Forest Service)
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 11:39 AM PDT
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A PINE, Ore. - A snowboarder died after an avalanche south of Bend, Oregon, at Paulina Peak Wednesday afternoon.

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Wall told KTVZ that a person had died several hours after a call for help was received by dispatchers.

Three snowboarders had used snowmobiles to reach the area and were snowboarding down the 7,984-foot (2,433-meter) peak, located east of La Pine and the highest point on the Newberry Volcano, when the avalanche happened, according to Wall.

Wall said first responders and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded.

The other two riders were not injured, he said. Two search teams and a helicopter were called to the area, and CPR was performed on the snowboarder, Wall said. The snowboarder didn’t survive and the person’s name hasn’t been released.

Search and rescue teams spent much of the afternoon working to reach the area.

Search and Rescue teams were “doing everything they can to complete the recovery tonight, but due to the extreme avalanche danger in the area, it might go into the wee hours,” Wall said.

Earlier this month, experienced backcountry skier Aaron Griffith, of Bend, was killed by an avalanche he apparently triggered while skiing with a friend at Black Crater, north of the Three Sisters.

When lifeguards responded to a call for a dog on the loose, they said he immediate took off into the ocean.