Powerful storms in the West have delivered heavy snow and some of the best snow conditions in years to resorts. The increased snowfall has led to a large increase in avalanches that have killed at least 15 people since November 12. In Washington state alone, avalanches have claimed nine lives this season which is the most since 1981. The highest year for avalanche deaths was 35 in the 2001-2002 winter season. Recently, California's Sierra Nevada Mountains received 11 feet of snow. Snoqualmie Pass in Washington saw 14 feet of snow in December alone. Even Aspen and Steamboat Springs, Colorado set records for December, each receiving more than 9 feet of snow.
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