Body of 64-year-old backcountry skier found buried in avalanche near Crystal Mountain

CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, Wash. -- The body of a 64-year-old backcountry skier was found buried in an avalanche outside of the area boundary Thursday morning, the ski resort said.

A member of the Crystal Mountain Ski Patrol saw avalanche debris Thursday morning and then noticed a backpack in the snow and what appeared to be a partially buried person, a news release said. The female skier was non-responsive, it said, and the apparent cause of death was asphyxiation.

"Ski Patrol immediately began searching the area with probes and avalanche rescue dogs to rule out other possible victims," the release said. "The body of the deceased woman was found at roughly 10:52 a.m. It appears she was ski-touring alone in the backcountry when she triggered the avalanche."

It appeared that the avalanche occurred sometime on Wednesday, the resort's news release said.

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased skier," said Kim Kircher, ski patrol director. "This hits close to home as she was a well-known skier in our community."

Her name has not yet been released.

The resort  called it "a very unfortunate reminder that you should always ski with a partner and carry proper equipment."