Two Sierra snowboarders dead, one at Squaw Valley

Snowboarder found dead in Lake Tahoe blizzard

After the avalanche, authorities launched a search effort that included ski patrols, police, emergency responders and multiple avalanche rescue dogs, the sheriff's office said. What triggered the avalanche remains unclear but officials say an investigation is underway.

A snowboarder missing since yesterday afternoon was found deceased this morning at Squaw Valley Ski Resort.

The man was snowboarding with friends in ungroomed terrain when he fell head-first into about 5 feet of fresh snow and suffocated when he couldn't free himself, Tim Cohee, China Peak's managing partner and general manager, told the Bee.

Wenyu Zhang, 42, of Rocklin was found dead by Squaw Valley Ski Resort, the Placer County Sheriff's Department said in a tweet.

Three men and two women were caught in the avalanche and later rescued, according to Squaw Valley Public Relations Director Liesl Hepburn.

One guest suffered a serious lower body injury and was transported to Tahoe Forest Hospital.

County spokeswoman Suzanne Grimmesey says the worst of the storm passed over early Friday and so far there are only reports of minor roadway flooding. Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue conducted an overnight search, which was then postponed due to high avalanche hazard. In the past seven days during the recent winter weather blast the resort has received almost five feet of snow, and officials say avalanche danger was at a high rating Friday.

"We hope for the full and speedy recovery of the injured guests, and extend our thoughts and support to all those involved", the resort said in its statement. "The Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows team extends its vast appreciation for the professionalism of all of the staff and responding agencies involved in this incident". He said the avalanche sounded like a train.

Visitors flocked to the Sierras on Friday as fresh snow came from a large winter storm. His cause of death is unknown.

Zhang was wearing a helmet when he was found, according to the Facebook post.

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