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Avalanche Safety Experts Say Training And The Right Equipment Can Save Your Life

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — An avalanche at Alpine Meadows claimed the life of a 34-year-old skier Friday morning and left another with serious injuries.

The avalanche came down just after 10:15 a.m. Friday on a ski run known as Subway Cirque. Cole Comstock, 34, of Plumas County was pronounced dead and another skier was taken to the hospital with serious injuries to his lower body.

The avalanche struck just hours after a storm dumped fresh snow in the Tahoe region. At the time, the avalanche danger was "considerable" according to the Sierra Avalanche Center. It's still unclear what triggered the slide.

When an avalanche comes barrelling down, experts say the right training and equipment can save your life.

Staying alive if caught in an avalanche is all about what you know and what you have on you, whether you're on foot, skiis, or a snow machine.

READ MORE: 1 Skier Dead, 1 Seriously Injured After Avalanche At Alpine Meadows

"Before you go anywhere, know what the avalanche risk danger is and avoid high-risk locations," Shana Tarter, Avalanche Safety Expert, said.

Experts also say having a first aid kit, small blanket, a little extra food, along with a location beacon, shovel and probe could save your life.

It sounds like simple supplies, but with Avalanche Safety Training, experts believe it will increase your chance of getting out alive. That, along with good common sense when facing possible danger.

"Look at a slope of a mountain and evaluate 'am I going to be in hazard or danger if I go across that?'" Peter Blessing, Avalanche Safety Expert, said.

The pros say avalanches don't happen all the time, most occur in more backcountry terrain, still, wherever you ski, it's good to be prepped and equipped.

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