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Issaquah snowmobiler dies in Kittitas County avalanche

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KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash. -- A 32-year-old Issaquah man died when five Western Washington snowmobiler were swept in an avalanche near Stampede Pass area Sunday. The group of friends stopped for lunch near Mirror Lake when the slope above them broke free.

When the slide stopped three people Joseph Simenstad, 32; Sabeo Simenstad, 30; and Josh Winter, 24; were fully buried.  A 29-year-old from Renton and another man were practically buried.

Joseph Simenstad suffered extensive trauma and could not be revived. His wife Sabeo suffered minor injuries. Winters was unconscious when recovered but was able to be revived.

Kittitas County Sheriff's Search & Rescue crew and others in the area helped dig out all five snowmobilers.

"On behalf of the Sheriff's Office, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Mr. Simenstad as they work through the loss of their loved one," the sheriff's office said in a release.

"We would like to remind those of you who recreate in the backcountry to be cautious of the past and current conditions, as they can change rapidly and without warning. Avalanche conditions are often the result of previous weather, sometimes from weeks prior."

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