One skier dead, another missing near Washington ski area

missing skier at snoqualmie pass

Monty Busbee, 43, went missing after venturing into the backcountry near Snoqualmie Pass. Photo: King County Sheriff’s Office

On Monday, the search for a backcountry skier that went missing near Snoqualmie Pass in Washington state was suspended due to the threat of avalanches. This development comes just one day after another skier died nearby in a separate incident.

Monty Busbee, a 43-year-old backcountry skier from Maple Valley, Washington, was reported missing to local authorities around 7:45 p.m. local time on Saturday by his wife when he failed to return home after leaving for a day of backcountry skiing.

According to the Seattle Times, Busbee parked his truck in a parking lot at the Summit at Snoqualmie ski resort around 10 a.m. Saturday, hoping to ski in the nearby Commonwealth Basin backcountry area.

His truck was still in the lot on Saturday night when Ski Patrol Avalanche Rescue Team members began the search for him, but due to heavy snow, that search effort was suspended.

Snoqualmie Pass

With heavy snowfall, the backcountry conditions at Snoqualmie Pass (above) can be dangerous. Photo: Flickr user Ed Suominen

It resumed on Sunday, only to be suspended again on Monday, due to an increased danger of avalanches. Local search teams say they will reassess on Tuesday whether or not they can resume search efforts.

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Busbee’s disappearance coincides with another unfortunate tragedy in the Snoqualmie Pass area: On Sunday, after venturing off the main trails of the Summit at Snoqualmie resort for some tree skiing, a 50-year-old skier was found dead.

Kelly Luna was skiing with his son and two other adults in the Silver Fir area of the Summit at Snoqualmie resort around midday on Saturday, when he decided to ski the trees. After failing to meet back up with his group, the other skiers went searching for him.

They found him upside down in a tree well (a loose, sometimes deep patch of snow around the base of a tree).

Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

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