The Tunnel Creek Avalanche story- New York Times raises the bar for newspapers

Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek, by John Branch


In September of 2010, I crossed US Route 2 at Steven’s Pass in Washington state, on day 146 of my walk from Mexico to Canada. At that point, my life was a daily, face-to-face meeting with adversity as I marched those last ten days into Canada. As tough as it was moving forward through 5 days of mid-forty degree rain, I made it.

Flash two years forward to February of 2012, when deep fresh powered dropped a mantle of snow on the Steven’s Pass ski area, when 16 expert skiers had the worst day of their lives, one where three of the group died, and the survivors will never be whole again.

The New York Times has just produced a long-form newspaper documentary of sorts about that day. What’s different about this web read is the depth of the research, and the inclusion of multimedia clips, active graphics, and moveable maps that accompany and enrich the article, which has generated over 700 reader comments. The images from this read have lingered with me for over 24 hours so far, hours that have left me with a desire to share this account with anyone who goes out into the outdoors and brushes against danger. It’s going to take you at least an hour to experience the “read”,  but do carve out the time.

2 thoughts on “The Tunnel Creek Avalanche story- New York Times raises the bar for newspapers

  1. Doug Sensenig

    I was really impressed by the story and by the presentation. The article is a model of where newspaper reporting might go in its quest for survival.


  2. thanks for sharing.

    my own days of doing adrenaline sports are over though I still hike. you wouldn’t think of A.T. hiking as deathdefying but I spent a bit of time in summer 2012 with two guys who later drowned at Laurel Falls in TN. I was shocked. they were in better shape than me, a father-son team.

    the survivor’s tale is one of the oldest of mankind. check the Lay of the Ancient Mariner.

    here is a link to a YouTube of one of my favorites – Cold Missouri Waters.

    stay warm. and dry. keep the fires burning.


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