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The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek

The latest from John Branch:

he snow burst through the trees with no warning but a last-second whoosh of sound, a two-story wall of white and Chris Rudolph’s piercing cry: “Avalanche! Elyse!”

The very thing the 16 skiers and snowboarders had sought — fresh, soft snow — instantly became the enemy. Somewhere above, a pristine meadow cracked in the shape of a lightning bolt, slicing a slab nearly 200 feet across and 3 feet deep. Gravity did the rest.

Snow shattered and spilled down the slope. Within seconds, the avalanche was the size of more than a thousand cars barreling down the mountain and weighed millions of pounds. Moving about 7o miles per hour, it crashed through the sturdy old-growth trees, snapping their limbs and shredding bark from their trunks.

The avalanche, in Washington’s Cascades in February, slid past some trees and rocks, like ocean swells around a ship’s prow. Others it captured and added to its violent load.

Somewhere inside, it also carried people. How many, no one knew.

[Photo Via: Mr Freakz]


1 Ken Arneson   ~  Dec 21, 2012 11:40 am

The art of writing is becoming more than just writing these days. It's also design.

2 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 21, 2012 1:40 pm

This is the first time I've noticed the Times getting into the act of magazine web design.

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