Posted March 3, 2023 6:30 pm by COAC

News Release from Deschutes Co. Sheriff's Office

Avalanche at Black Crater Claims Life of Back Country Skier (Photo) - 03/03/23
Released By: Sergeant Jason Wall

Release Date: March 3, 2023

Location: Black Crater, Three Sisters Wilderness

Skier #1: 46-year-old male, Bend Oregon, deceased

Skier #2: Name withheld


On March 2, 2023, The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit was dispatched to a report of an avalanche at Black Crater. Black Crater is a steep-sided shield volcano in the Cascade Range, located north of the Three Sisters and east of McKenzie Pass.

The reporting party (skier#2) advised Deschutes County 911 he and a friend were skiing in the caldera at Black Crater when an avalanche was triggered. Skier #1 was caught up in the avalanche and no longer visible and possibly injured.

Both skiers were equipped with proper backcountry safety items to include avalanche beacons, shovels, helmets and avalanche probes. The reporting party attempted to locate his friend by utilizing his avalanche beacon, and ultimately was successful. Life saving measure were conducted, however, skier #1 had succumbed to his injuries.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit, along with the United States Forest Service responded to the area and assisted Skier #2 to safety. Due to extreme avalanche danger and failing light Search and Rescue personnel halted recovery efforts until daylight on March 3.

Search and Rescue personnel are currently on scene, working with other community partners to safely recover Skier #1.