Death in the Sierra

In four days, the heaviest blizzard to hit the High Sierra in 30 years deposited 12 ft. of snow. Near Lake Tahoe, vacationers and mountain residents were stranded when major highways were closed, many blocked by snow slides. Several homes had been crushed by sliding snow masses; one California highway patrolman was buried briefly in his squad car near Truckee, Calif. Throughout the surrounding mountains, avalanche patrols used explosives and 75-mm howitzers to blast away dangerous snow formations, trying to keep pace with the blizzard and avert a catastrophe.

At Squaw Valley, seven...

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