Tragic Avalanche at Palisades Tahoe Claims One Life and Injures Another, Sheriff Reports


One person has been confirmed dead and another injured following an avalanche Wednesday at the Olympic Valley resort in Olympe Valley, according to the Lake County sheriff’s office. Kenneth Kidd, 66, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was originally from Point Reyes, according to the sheriff’s office. Four people were injured, including two who were buried and a man who was killed, the sheriff’s office said in a news release Wednesday afternoon.

No other people are reported missing, officials said.

A woman who was caught in the avalanche reported falling about 200 feet and being buried in the snow before being rescued by a stranger.

According to a statement released by the resort, the avalanche occurred at approximately 9:30 in the morning Wednesday on the side of the Palisades above KT-22’s GS gully area. The mountain operations team tweeted at 9:28 in the morning that KT-22 is currently on patrol hold.

Palisades Tahoe said its resort will reopen at 9 a.m. Thursday but the KT-22 terrain will remain closed. 

According to the sheriff’s office, the debris field is approximately 150’ wide, 450’ long, and 10’ deep.

According to the California governor’s office (C.D.A.), the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) conducted avalanche mitigation efforts on Wednesday in the vicinity of the

A skier who witnessed the avalanche from the lift told CBS13 that she and others responded to the call for help and aided in the search.

Congressman Kevin Kiley, who represents the 3rd Congressional District that includes the resort, said his office is working with Placer County’s Office of Emergency Services on the search. “We are thankful for the first responders who are working around the clock,” Kiley wrote.

According to the resort’s website, all lifts at Palisades and Alpine are now closed for the day.

The Sierra Avalanche Center regularly releases daily avalanche danger forecasts for the Tahoe area. Wednesday’s avalanche danger rating is “considerable” for all levels on the center’s tracks.

In the Tahoe area, an avalanche killed a skier at Alpine Meadows in 2020.

There have been no fatalities in the U.S. related to an avalanche in 2024, as of Wednesday. Last year there were 30 nationwide fatalities, including two in California.

In California, one fatality occurred as a hiker in Split Mountain, southeast of Big Pine.

The other fatality occurred in the backcountry as a skier in the Hurd Peak area, southeast of Bishop.

The 1960 Winter Olympics were held in Palisades, and the ski resort was one of the most popular in the area. The resort changed its name in 2021 after Native American groups objected to the original name’s negative history.