Several feet of beautiful white snow covering Sequoia National Park is expected to attract many visitors over the weekend. But the National Park Service has issued an avalanche warning for the park's steep wilderness areas that can be used by avid skiers and snowboarders.
Two years ago, a Santa Barbara snowboarder was killed by an avalanche. Rangers said it's the only fatality from an avalanche they can recall in the park's history.
Park officials said the snowboarder killed was actually an experienced hiker who had the high tech equipment to detect if an avalanche is coming. He was killed by Pear Lake a popular tourist destination for skiers and sledders.
The snow is so thick and dangerous that at 3,000 feet, visitors are being required to drive a four-wheel drive vehicle and use chains on their tires.
Matthew Vu and his brother in law were taking their chains off after coming down the mountain. "On the sides so you couldn't see the road at all everything's just white and we got to a point where the chains actually didn't quite work very well we had to slow down and do a lot of breaking."
The avalanche warning is in effect for the next 48-72 hours. The park service also had to close several roads due to rock slides from the wet weather.