One man is dead and another is in critical condition after an avalanche Friday morning at a ski resort in Lake Tahoe, California. It marks the region's first avalanche fatality in two winters.

The death of Cole Comstock, 34, of Blairsden, California, was confirmed by the Placer County Sheriff’s Department.

Comstock's wife Caitlin, who was skiing at a different part of the mountain, recounted to reporters by telephone that her husband "loved skiing, life and people."



"A funny thing all of our friends do is we hit the tip of our poles, 'touch tips' is what we call it, and we tap tips and said 'I love you' and 'I love you too,' and we just went our separate ways," she said.

 

 

The injured man was taken by ambulance for treatment at Tahoe Forest Hospital, roughly 15 miles away from the popular Alpine Meadows Ski Resort. He has reportedly undergone surgery for his injuries. His current condition is unknown.

The avalanche happened at about 10:15 a.m. when the men were on the ski run known as Subway Cirque.

By 12:50 p.m., Sgt. Mike Powers confirmed that no other parts of the resort were believed to be at risk. The Subway Ski Run was then closed to the public until further notice.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows officials said that no other skiers were reported missing.

The Alpine Meadows resort had earlier been rated at three out of five for risk of avalanche by the Sierra Avalanche Center, which put the chances at “considerable.” The resort’s operations team had surveyed the grounds for avalanche assessment that morning due to significant recent snowfall in the area, roughly two feet over the course of 24 hours. They had deemed the resort clear and opened it a little before 9 a.m.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports that this is the fifth avalanche-related death this year and the 10th during the overall ski season in the U.S.