Anthony Lakes, OR. |
Anthony Lakes, OR.
At approximately 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6, an avalanche accident occurred on the north side of Gunsight Mountain (8,342′) in the Elkhorn Mountains near Anthony Lakes, Oregon.

Nick Burks, an avalanche forecaster with the Northwest Avalanche Center and a part of the snow safety team at Mt. Hood Meadows ski area, was killed due to trauma sustained in the slide.

The Central Oregon Avalanche Center shared the news of the slide on Thursday, March 7, writing on social media that its staff was deeply saddened to announce the death of Burks and stating that a full investigation and report will be forthcoming in the coming days.

The Northwest Avalanche Center, Burks' employer, shared the heartbreaking news on its Facebook page.
"The Northwest Avalanche Center is heartbroken to report the death of our friend and colleague, Nick Burks. Nick worked as a part of the snow safety team at Mt. Hood Meadows ski area, and more recently, as an avalanche forecaster for the Wallowa Avalanche Center (WAC) in northeastern Oregon. We offer our deepest sympathies to our friends at WAC and stand with everyone touched by this devastating event." - NWAC
The tragic avalanche accident on Gunsight Mountain serves as a stark reminder of the dangers inherent in backcountry skiing and snow safety work. The loss of such a respected figure in his field leaves a profound void in the community.