Washington state trooper killed in avalanche while snowmobiling

first_imgWashington State Patrol/FacebookBy MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News(KITITAS COUNTY, Wa.) — A Washington state trooper was killed in an avalanche while snowmobiling, authorities said.Trooper Steve Houle, 51, a nearly 30-year veteran of the Washington State Patrol, died Monday, according to the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office.Houle was snowmobiling with a friend in French Cabin Creek, north of Cle Elum in central Washington, when the avalanche occurred shortly before 1 p.m. local time, the sheriff’s office said.Both men were caught in the snow. The companion was able to dig himself out but was unable to find Houle, authorities said. The friend went to get help, and Kittitas County Search and Rescue crews were able to locate Houle’s body several hours later, around 7 p.m. He was found deceased, authorities said.According to a preliminary report by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the men were riding motorized snow bikes when they were caught in a “very large” avalanche. The friend was partially buried, while Houle was fully buried in the snow, it said.“On behalf of the Sheriff’s Office, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to Trooper Houle’s family, friends and the Washington State Patrol,” Sheriff Clayton Myers said in a statement. “This is a tragic accident and will be felt hard in our close-knit law enforcement community.”Houle, of Cle Elum, served for over 28 years in the state patrol’s commercial vehicle division in Kittitas County.“Steve was a great person and an excellent employee, loved and respected by us all,” Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste said in a statement. “We hold his memory and his family close to our hearts in this painfully sad time.”His colleagues also reacted to news of his sudden passing.“Our hearts are broken tonight as we mourn the loss of a great trooper,” Washington State Patrol District 1 spokesperson Trooper Ryan Burke tweeted Monday. “Rest easy brother, you will be missed.”Houle was the 22nd person in the U.S. — and first in Washington state — to die in an avalanche so far this winter season, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.Last week, the Northwest Avalanche Center said there had been “numerous avalanche involvements and near-misses” recently in the Pacific Northwest, and warned that “many of our zones will likely see high avalanche danger with uniquely unstable snowpack conditions” over the weekend.As of Tuesday, there is considerable avalanche danger for the central Washington region, according to the center.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Swimming Hole Essentials

first_imgNational Geographic, Dupont State Forest Map ($12)Dupont State Forest might be swimming hole Nirvana. Nat Geo’s new Dupont map helps pinpoint the good stuff with its waterfall table and loop hike suggestions that call out specific landmarks.dupont cover_FIXWatershed Ocoee ($105)The Ocoee is perfect for our day trips. If you add the shoulder strap, it becomes the perfect camera bag. That’s what our guides are taking for their cameras on all our treks.OcoeeOrange_0035_FIXPacSafe VentureSafe X30 ($170)Travel safely through rugged terrain or rough city streets with this anti-theft adventure backpack, featuring hard-to-cut webbing straps, slashguards, and security buckles.venturesafe_x30_60415510_FIXEnerPlex, Kickr  IV ($130)The 6.5-watt flexible solar panel can charge your phone, GPS, or any USB device. It’s blade-thin, lightweight, and built for backcountry adventure.Ascent Aug 3013_260_FIXMountain Khakis Equatorial Pant ($85)Built for adventure, these lightweight, high-density nylon weave pants feature six mesh-lined pockets and reinforced, adjustable heel cuffs. They pack easily, breathe well, and offer superior mobility on the trail.M-Equatorial-Pant-RetroKhaki_FIXRelated Content: Sara Bell started Green River Adventures, in Saluda, N.C., 10 years ago with the idea that she would teach the fundamentals of paddling. It was a simple business plan. Fast forward a decade, and Green River Adventures has grown into a full-fledge adventure guide business, with a kayak school, zipline canopy tour, and canyoneering and waterfall treks.“We do this really cool waterfall trek that begins with a 200-foot waterfall rappel linked up with an intense swimming hole hike, where you’re roping up and jumping off of 15-foot drops,” Bell says. “It’s like an amphibious hike.”We asked Bell for her top gear picks for an adventurous day exploring swimming holes. Here are her picks in her own words.Osprey Rev 24 ($130)This is basically a trail running pack, but it’s big enough to carry snacks and some light gear, and it also has a hydration sleeve. It dries really fast. All of our guides use these, and they can get pretty ragged after constant use, but when we retire them, our guides fight over who gets to keep them.Rev18_S14_Side_FlashGreen_FIXPrana Lahari Halter Top ($55) and Immersion Research Guide Shorts ($65)Sometimes in the office, this top doubles as a bra, it’s so comfortable. The IR Guide Shorts offer good coverage for when you’re rappelling or hiking. And yeah, I wear them in the office too.prana halter_FIX71001_GuideShort_Nightshade_FIX Recover Recycler, Dry Tee ($25)These shirts are made out of 100% recycled material—eight water bottles and some recycled cotton go into each shirt. The shirts are really soft, and they perform well on the trail.Recycler_RD1000HeatherGrey_FIXlast_img read more

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