By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – Officials at the White Pass Ski Area identified the man who lost his life in an avalanche as 31-year-old Adam M. Roberts, a native of East Lewis County.
“He grew up here, he’s from Randle, his family’s still in Randle,” White Pass General Manager Kevin McCarthy said. “He’s one of those, he loved skiing in the back country.”
A tribute from management there posted on their Facebook page early yesterday morning expresses condolences from the entire White Pass community.
“Adam, your love for skiing and the pure joy and exuberance with which you approached the mountains has influenced all of us. You will be so very missed,” they wrote.
Roberts and a friend on Tuesday were taking a run outside the boundaries of the groomed ski area and took separate paths, McCarthy said. The friend got to the bottom and waited and waited some more before hiking back up, McCarthy said.
The friend noticed some avalanche debris, but didn’t see any tracks leaving the area, he said. The friend went for help.
The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said it happened around 3:45 p.m. They were notified about 6 p.m. that Roberts was located by the ski patrol beneath three feet or more of snow, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.
The White Pass Ski Area is at the summit of U.S. Highway 12 and straddles Lewis and Yakima counties.
Roberts had gone to school at Western Washington University in Bellingham and split his time between there and the White Pass area, and sometimes worked at Mount Baker, according to McCarthy.
He said he’s known Roberts since he was a kid.
He was someone who’d done a lot of mountaineering, taken trips others envied and very few could ski as well as him, McCarthy said.
“At times, he’d push the envelope, you might say,” he said. “What happened to him could have happened to any of us.”
For background, read “News brief: Death on the slopes at White Pass” from Wednesday December 28, 2016, here