Seattle skier rescued after avalanche sweeps her in backcountry

Courtesy of Chelan County Sheriff's Office.

CHELAN COUNTY, Wash. — A Seattle backcountry skier is in stable condition after being swept in an avalanche Sunday afternoon.

Shanna Hovertsen, 29, was with a group of friends skiing near Cohchuck Lake at about 1:15 p.m. when a small avalanche caused her to tumble down a slope and twist both of her knees, Chelan County Sheriff's Office Deputy Brian Burnett said.

>> RELATED: Avalanche threat easing, but danger remains for Cascades

Law enforcement officials said Hovertsen was unable to hike out and was helped by her friends to a nearby campsite.

A friend of Hovertsen's texted the International Emergency Rescue Communication Center in Texas for help using a satellite communication device, officials said. That message was relayed to the Washington emergency communication center at Camp Murray and then sent to Rivercom dispatch.

Rescuers with the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office launched a helicopter from Wenatchee and landed close to where Hovertsen was, then flew her to the National Fish Hatchery landing pad near Leavenworth, officials said.

Medics then took her in an ambulance to Cascade Medical Center in Leavenworth.

Just one year ago, a series of deadly avalanches across the North Cascades claimed the lives of seven people, including a Bonney Lake police officer.

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