BEND, Ore. (AP) — A snowboarder and skier died on Mt. Bachelor in separate incidents on the same day after each fell into holes at the base of trees and were covered by snow, Central Oregon authorities said.
The Deschutes County sheriff's office identified the victims on Friday as snowboarder Alfonso Braun, 24, of Bend, and skier Nicole Panet-Raymond, 19, of Eugene.
"Our entire mountain community is shocked and saddened," John McLeod, Mt. Bachelor's president and general manager, said in a statement. "We are heartbroken, and our deepest condolences go out to the affected families and friends."
Authorities told KTVZ-TV in Bend that skiers and snowboarders found Braun buried in snow at about noon and dug him out. Life-saving efforts failed, and he was pronounced dead about an hour later.
Officials say a few hours after that they received a report of a missing skier, and that evening found Panet-Raymond dead in a tree well. Sheriff's Lt. Bryan Husband said authorities used cellphone location technology to find her.
Braun was found in terrain reserved for experts and Panet-Raymond in intermediate terrain.
Detectives said the accidents are being investigated and Panet-Raymond's prior movements are also being analyzed.
Late-season snowstorms in recent days have drawn thousands to Mt. Bachelor, a popular ski destination with 11 lifts and access to all levels of terrain. The company warned on its website for "current conditions" of the dangers of falling into the concave areas called tree wells often found at the base of trees.
"With all this new low density snow comes a reminder about tree well and snow immersion hazards," the company wrote. "A good time to get caught up on good safety practices and always ski or ride with a buddy in eyesight if you're headed off-trail."