Film

1982 Tahoe avalanche documentary wins Telluride Mountainfilm award

TELLURIDE, Colo. — A new movie that documents a massive avalanche at Alpine Meadows, Buried, has just won the Audience Award at Mountainfilm, Telluride’s film festival.

Buried is the story of a massive avalanche that engulfed the entire resort of Alpine Meadows in Lake Tahoe, California. It’s a feature-length documentary based on the events and circumstances surrounding the 1982 avalanche.

In March of 1982, a storm cycle brought 90 inches of snow on top of an 87-inch base and an avalanche broke free, burying the Alpine Meadows base area and parking lot. The wreckage was overwhelming, with eight missing victims buried in the slide, the Alpine Meadows’ ski patrol had to react immediately.

The directors of Buried, Jared Drake and Steven Siig interview the Tahoe locals involved and dig through the painful memories to relive what happened with this fateful avalanche. “Their story, as far as we knew, had never been told,” said Steven Siig.

The film project was homegrown and self-financed with the help of a GoFundMe campaign. It was made to help the Tahoe community learn more about its history and to build awareness about life within the mountains and the anguish that can sometimes happen, in any mountain town.

“We have to do this, it’s not about making the film. It’s about capturing the history of Alpine,” said Jared, when discussing the inception of the documentary.

The next premiere of Buried will be next week at the Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF). In-person screenings will be Friday and Saturday, June 25th and 26th in Boulder. An online screening of the movie will be available through BIFF from June 24 – July 3.

Buried directors, Steven Siig and Jared Drake in the parking lot at Alpine Meadows.
Buried directors, Steven Siig and Jared Drake in the parking lot at Alpine Meadows. Photo: Realization Films
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