2 teenagers, 32-year-old man killed in avalanches in Western Washington

SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. -- The beauty of the mountains was overshadowed by tragedy Monday.

It's been a deadly couple of days up in the mountains.

“These were some young folks. I had a hard time, too, dealing with the family up there, you know?" King County Search and Rescue's Alan Labissoniere said.

Family members came out to Snoqualmie Pass as rescuers searched for two missing teenagers Monday.

Rescuers hoped to come back with good news. Instead, the had to tell family members the two teens were killed by an avalanche.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to that family,” Labissoniere said.

The two boys -- a 17 and 18-year-old -- went snowshoeing on Sunday in the Snow Lake area at Alpental in Snoqualmie Pass.

“They knew the area,” Labissoniere said.

Officials say one of the teenagers was an experienced snowshoer and both teens were wearing avalanche beacons.

The parents of the teens called 911 Sunday evening when the two friends did not return home.

King County Search and Rescue says they could not send their teams out to look for the teens Sunday due to avalanche dangers

“It’s too extreme. We held our team members back last night for our safety, it’s not worth to risk more lives,” Labissoniere said.

Crews waited until Monday morning to send crews out into the elements. They were able to locate the teenagers about a mile and a half into the Snow Lake Trail buried in the snow. Rescuers say one of the teens was found quickly and the other took some time. But both were located just hours into the search because the teens had avalanche beacons.

The news of the teenagers came right after word that a 32 year-old Issaquah man was killed in an avalanche at Stampede Pass.  The Kittitas Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Joseph Simenstad was killed while snowmobiling with his wife and several friends.

One Snohomish man lost consciousness but was revived. Simenstad's wife also survived with minor injuries.

Officials say an avalanche buried the snowmobilers while they were eating lunch at the base of Stampede Pass.