KELLOGG, Idaho — An avalanche on an advanced run at Silver Mountain near Kellogg, Idaho, killed three people and injured another four on January 7.
What is believed to be the final person missing in the avalanche was recovered on Thursday, January 9. A helicopter rescue crew assisted in finding the final person.
Here's what we know so far.
Three people killed in avalanche on open run
The avalanche happened on an open black diamond run that was in-bounds called 16-to-1 off of Wardner Peak. The run is accessed by the No. 4 chairlift.
Three people died in the avalanche. Two of those people were recovered on Tuesday, the same day the avalanche happened.
Both men were from Spokane County: 58-year-old Carl William Dick Humphreys of Liberty Lake and 46-year-old Scott Michael Parsons of Spokane Valley.
While crews initially thought the two dead and four injured recovered from the avalanche were the only people involved, a tip from a family member on Wednesday morning at about 7 a.m. caused crews to search for a third person killed in the avalanche.
That person was found with the help of the Two Bear Air helicopter on Thursday afternoon and was identified as 33-year-old Molly Elisabeth Hubbard of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Two Bear Air said Hubbard was buried under about 20 feet of snow.
Initial reports were that five people were injured but survived the avalanche, but this number was lowered to four Tuesday night.
Darrick Hayman, the stepson of Carl Humphreys, said he died doing what he loved and the 16-to-1 run was something he had done many times before.
"Skiing down that exact run is something he did a thousand times and he loved every minute of it,” Hayman said.
Hayman said Humphreys loved being outdoors, whether it was water skiing, surfing or wake boarding.
One of the people injured in the avalanche, Bill Fuzak, spoke to KREM about what happened before the avalanche and his rescue.
Fuzak said he survived by punching an air pocket in the snow between the first and second slide. He was unconscious and had blue lips when he was found 50 minutes after the avalanche buried him.
"When they unburied me after 50 minutes, I shouldn’t have been alive. I got lucky because I had the air pocket that I made. But without their efforts, none of us would have made it, except for the one that was partially buried," Fuzak said.
He added that the first person who found him was a ski patroller who he knew from Silver and Mt. Spokane. He also said two people went down the run before his group and didn't have any trouble.
The avalanche happened on a black diamond run called 16-to-1 near Wardner Peak. Wardner Peak is the less popular of the two peaks on Silver Mountain, and features only black diamond and double black diamond runs.
The run had been closed leading up to Tuesday due to a lack of snow, but the area got 16 inches of snow in 24 hours, leading it to be open. The run is in-bounds and is accessed by the 4Basin chairlift.
Multiple agencies helped in the rescue efforts, including: search and rescue teams from Shoshone and Kootenai counties; the Two Bear Air rescue helicopter crew from Flathead County, Montana; crews from four nearby ski resorts; and three to four avalanche dogs.
The Two Bear Air crew posted footage of their rescue efforts on YouTube.
Mobile users, click here to watch footage from Two Bear Air.
Timeline of events
Tuesday, Jan. 7: Avalanche sweeps down ski area
11 a.m.: An avalanche swept down the 16 to 1 run at the Wardner Peak ski area at 11 a.m. on Tuesday. Silver Mountain Ski Patrol responded immediately and began to search for guests.
The Wardner Peak area had been closed until Tuesday morning due a lack of snow, Silver Mountain said. The area then received 16 inches of snow in the 24 hours before the avalanche and avalanche control work was done in the morning before the mountain opened.
The ski area was open and inbounds, Silver Mountain said on Wednesday.
12:40 p.m.: Silver Mountain posted on Facebook that they found three people and were continuing their search.
About three hours later, Silver Mountain confirmed that one person had died and five people were rescued with minor injuries following the avalanche.
Silver Mountain later said another person was found dead and that all skiers were accounted for on Tuesday night.
Wednesday, Jan. 8: Search for another missing skier begins
7:30 a.m.: Silver Mountain posted on Facebook that they received a call from a concerned family member about a skier that they have been unable to contact. The person was skiing during the time of the avalanche on Tuesday.
Silver Mountain said the ski area would be closed as they searched for the missing person.
Press conference at 4 p.m.: During a press conference on Wednesday, Silver Mountain said two people died in the avalanche and four were found injured, rather than five.
11 p.m.: The search for the missing skier was suspended.
Thursday, Jan. 9: Person found buried in avalanche, two Spokane Co. men identified
7 a.m.: The search for a missing skier was restarted on Thursday morning. The ski area remains closed.
About 60 people are assisting in the search and rescue effort, including three to four rescue dogs, search and rescue personnel from Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, and crews from nearby resorts, Silver Mountain said.
KREM’s Nicole Hernandez said crews are searching inch by inch and foot by foot to find the missing person.
10 a.m.: Hernandez said a helicopter from the Flathead County Sheriff's Office in Montana has joined the search for the missing skier. She added that the chopper has technology that could help search crews.
12 p.m.: The Shoshone County Sheriff's Office identified the two men who died as 58-year-old Carl William Dick Humphreys of Liberty Lake and 46-year-old Scott Michael Parsons of Spokane Valley.
12:45 p.m.: A rescue helicopter found a person buried in the snow after the two-day search. Authorities have not yet identified the individual or provided additional details.
2:00 p.m.: At a press conference at about 2 p.m., Shoshone County Sheriff Mike Gunderson said the body has been located but not recovered due to terrain. He also said it is unclear if the body is the person reported as missing on Wednesday morning.
3:00 p.m.: Crews recover the person from the avalanche and confirm it is the missing person. This brings the death toll up to three, and crews are called off from future searches as they believe all people are accounted for.