UPDATE: Squaw Valley ski patroller dead after avalanche control accident

Amanda Rhoades

UPDATE Tuesday, 12:10 p.m.:

Squaw Valley Ski Resort has issued an updated press release, stating the victim was 42-year-old Joe Zuiches, a resident of Olympic Valley and a member of the Squaw Valley professional ski patrol since 2012.

The updated statement indicates the incident occurred at about 8:35 a.m. at the top of Gold Coast Ridge and “does not appear to be avalanche related,” but does not provide further details.

Multiple sources familiar with the resort have confirmed to the Sierra Sun that the incident involved the use of explosives.

According to Squaw’s statement, officials with the North Tahoe Fire Protection District and Placer County Sheriff’s Office are on scene, and an investigation is underway.

The Sun reached out to the North Tahoe Fire Protection District at 9 a.m. Tuesday, but our call was not returned.

The fire district published the following post to their Facebook page:

The Sierra Sun will continue to update this post as more information becomes available.

 The original story from 10:05 a.m. Tuesday is below:

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — Squaw Valley Ski Resort issued a statement at 9 a.m. Tuesday confirming that a ski patrol employee died during avalanche control procedures at about 8:35 a.m. Tuesday.

The victim’s name has not yet been released, and will remain private until the family is notified, according to the statement, which the Sierra Sun obtained at about 10 a.m. Tuesday.

An investigation is underway, officials said.

According to the statement, Squaw Valley will remain closed for the rest of the day. Alpine Meadows is open.

“The team at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is deeply saddened by this tragic event and would like to express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends affected,” the resort said in its statement.