Three people from the resort were initially reported missing, the resort said. It confirmed hours later that one person had died and five others were rescued and transported to the hospital with “minor injuries.”
As of late Tuesday, the Silver Mountain Ski Patrol had accounted for all of the victims when it located the seventh person buried in the avalanche. The person was taken to Shoshone Medical Center in Kellogg, but was later pronounced deceased, according to the Shoshone News Press.
“Silver Mountain extends our deepest condolences to everyone affected, and out of respect to the families, no further comments will be released at this time,” representatives for the resort said in a statement late Tuesday.
The condition of the five injured victims was not immediately known and identities of the deceased victims have not been released.
The 6,200-foot Wardner Peak area is classified among the most difficult runs on Silver Mountain, according to a resort map. The area was closed early Tuesday but was opened for the day moments before avalanche occurred, KHQ reports.
The Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center issued an advisory just before 6 a.m. Tuesday warning of high avalanche danger for the area due to recent weather conditions that deposited layers of windblown snow onto weaker layers of existing snowpack.
The Wardner Peak area is “the place to go” for skiers looking for pristine powder snow, Bruce Rosenoff, a regular at Silver Mountain, told the Spokesman-Review.
“I thought conditions were kind of sketchy,” Rosenoff said “I was careful where I was gonna go. ”