Friends of a 31-year-old skier who died in an avalanche Tuesday west of the White Pass area said he’ll be remembered as an outdoorsman who died doing what he loved.
Adam Roberts, a well-known and experienced skier from Randle, and a friend were attempting to ski to U.S. Highway 12 from an area about 11/2 miles west of the summit when he was struck by the avalanche, said Kathleen Goyette, White Pass Ski Area spokeswoman.
“His friend was able to ski down safely,” Goyette said. “Adam triggered an avalanche. His friend was able to call for help and reached the ski patrol.”
The avalanche occurred while Roberts “was skiing out-of-bounds near the ski area,” according to a Facebook posting by the White Pass Ski Area. The ski patrol spent several hours removing Roberts’ body from beneath several feet of snow, said Chief Dusty Breen, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
Everyone at White Pass Ski Area is feeling the loss, Goyette said.
“We are all very sad today,” she said.
“He is an incredibly loving person,” said Corey Warren, a photographer who sometimes shot photos of Roberts skiing in the back country. “He was a great guy. He was passionate about the things he pursued in life. He felt humanity in his heart.”
Warren, who said he met Roberts at a store in Bellingham, where the two became close friends, called him the kind of guy who always stuck by his friends.
“He was gentle, creative and loving,” Warren said.
Jason Hummel, another friend, said Roberts “died doing what he loved.”
Scott Schell, Northwest Avalanche Center executive director, said avalanche conditions above the tree line were high and very dangerous Tuesday along the west slopes of the Cascades.
The danger was due to heavy snowfall, as much as 2 to 3 feet in places, said Garth Ferber, avalanche meteorologist with the center.
Roberts’ death is the first avalanche fatality of the season in the Pacific Northwest and the third in the country, Ferber said.
Last season, three people died in avalanches in Washington state.