Names of avalanche victims released

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Courtesy photo/ Rescue crews use probes to search the Wardner Peak area for the last missing skier.

KELLOGG – The Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office has announced that Carl William Dick Humphreys, 58, of Liberty Lake, Washington and Scott Michael Parsons, 46, of Spokane Valley, Washington were the individuals who perished in Tuesday’s avalanche on Silver Mountain’s Wardner Peak.

Humphreys and Parsons were among five other that were located on the day of the avalanche on Jan. 7. The other five that were found only sustained minor injuries.

The search for an 8th missing skier entered its second day atop Silver Mountain Thursday morning after officials were notified Wednesday morning that an individual did not return home after being on the mountain Tuesday.

The SCSO reports that 120 search and rescue responders are participating in the operation and more (previously unavailable) help is on the way.

“With a short break in the weather, 2 Bear Air, a search and rescue aviation support team out of Whitefish Montana, is assisting in the search utilizing special equipment, that, if successful, will significantly minimize the search area on Wardner Peak,” Undersheriff Holly Lindsey said. “Also aiding in today’s search are several avalanche K9 teams from around the Northwest.”

Skiers were caught in an avalanche that occurred on Wardner Peak around 11 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

The specific run where it occurred, 16-to-1, had been just recently opened after crews from Silver Mountain had done avalanche control blasting in the area.

At the time of the avalanche, the Silver Valley (along with St. Regis, Mont.) was under a “high” avalanche danger rating from the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center due to the rapid loading of new snow and wind slabs over buried persistent weak layers. These conditions are expected to stay elevated through mid week.

This is a developing story and more information will be added as it is released.

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