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A Terrifying, Deadly Avalanche Struck Northern California In 1982 And No One Saw It Coming

Most of Northern California doesn’t see too much snow, but the parts that do are constantly at risk of unstable snow that causes avalanches. Many readers might remember the tragic 1982 avalanche at Alpine Meadows that took 7 lives and injured 5 others, including a woman who was trapped below the snow’s surface for 5 days but still managed to survive.

Where were you when this tragedy struck the North Tahoe area? You can read a full report of the incident on and an account of Anna’s experience trapped beneath the snow here.

Jill S.
Jill is a freelance writer from a small Northern California town and lives in the Sierra Nevada mountains. If you have an idea for an Only In Northern California story, email her at