Even a unique and special snowflake must obey the laws — of physics.

How do you get killed by snow? Be underneath a cornice when someone sets off an avalanche gun or charge, in this case.

The victim has been identified as  Joe Zuiches, a 42 year-old resident of Olympic Valley and a member of the Squaw Valley professional ski patrol since 2012.

A Squaw Valley spokesperson said the incident occurred at the top of Gold Coast Ridge at 8:35 a.m. The cause is believed to be the detonation of an explosive charge.

No one ever died of an avalanche in Okeechobee. But then, no member of the Squaw Valley ski patrol has ever been eaten by an alligator, either. You get to choose the form of your own destructor, eh?

This entry was posted in When Guns Are Outlawed… on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

3 thoughts on “When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Snow

William O. B’Livion

“If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its forfeit.” – Dougal Haston

Who, by the way, died in an avalanche while skiing.

“It’s wonderful to be back. Back among the mountains that remind us of our vulnerability, our ultimate lack of control over the world we live in. Mountains that demand humility, and yield so much peace in return.” – Alex Lowe

Who also died in an avalanche, while skiing.

And yes, I do nordic/cross country skiing in the mountains. But not where there is any chance of avalanche.


Snow is a very under-rated killer. A lesson I suspect is going to be reinforced here in the Western US within a few more years, as we swing back into another deep cold cycle. California’s northern mountains are seeing a huge amount of snow this year, similar to what happened setting them up for what they call the “California Megaflood” of the winter of 1861-2.

See, the risk from snow ain’t just when it is falling, or on the ground; it also comes when it melts. If you wish, do a search on the above-mentioned flood event, look at the data and transpose it onto a modern map of California. Then, consider that we have close to 16 million people living out in a desert that is, shall we say, “highly reliant” on water and other resources coming in from the Northern part of the state.

Template the floods from the spring of 1862, and consider what they’d likely do to Cali, in today’s environment and with the urban sprawl. Imagine what happens when/if the floods destroy the water infrastructure in the Central Valley, and how Los Angeles then survives without several months worth of water coming in… Not to mention, all the other fungibles they don’t have on hand in sufficient supply. Trying to evacuate everyone going out over the mountains into the Mojave might prove just a bit problematic, and could result in a bunch of non-Californians dying from the sheer schadenfreude watching the Hollywood elites scrambling out of their little death-trap.

Putting the population we did into the Greater Los Angeles area was an act of such utter arrogance as to be nearly incomprehensible. In terms of sheer hubris, it ranks right up there with turning New Orleans into a major port and urban area, and Momma Nature gonna smack us down for it. Eventually.

California may not have to worry about secession; they may need to worry about sheer survival.


At least death took him at 3,200meters/sec: “…He was carrying an undisclosed amount of ammonium nitrate based charges when the explosion occurred. “