Posted on December 31, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A deadly Dec. 31 avalanche in Colorado. Photo courtesy CAIC.
New Year’s Eve accident marks first avalanche death of the season
FRISCO — A hiker trying to climb one of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks died in an avalanche on the last day of 2014. The accident happend on the Kelso Ridge approach to Torreys Peak, a 14er along the Continental Divide between Summit and Clear Creek counties.
According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, two climbers met at the base of Steven’s Gulch Road, near the Bakerville exit along I-70 and joined with a third climber for the planned ascent. The trio traveled on snowshoes up Steven’s Gulch, then used an an existing skin track to traverse across several avalanche paths on the east side of Mt. Kelso. Continue reading
Filed under: avalanches, Colorado, recreation, skiing and riding, Snow and weather | Tagged: avalanche deaths 2014, avalanches, Colorado, Mt. Kelso, Mt. Kelso avalanche death, Torreys Peak | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 30, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A wet snow avalanche in Tenmile Canyon, near Frisco, Colorado. bberwyn photo.
Snowsports industry, safety agencies team up for Project Zero
With 25 backcountry avalanche deaths in the U.S. this winter, and eight in Colorado, mountain enthusiasts are launching a major crowdfunding push to boost the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
The Colorado effort is part of an ambitious national push to reduce avalanche fatalities to zero by 2025. Project Zero is a collaboration between AIARE, Snowsports Industries America, Friends of the CAIC, the Utah Avalanche Center, Northwest Avalanche Center, Canadian Avalanche Centre, National Ski Areas Association and the National Ski Patrol.
Filed under: avalanches, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: avalanches, backcountry, crowdfunding, skiing | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 17, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Flags mark the spot where Christopher Norris died in an inbounds avalanche on open terrain at Winter Park Ski Area on January 22, 2012. Photo courtesy CAIC.
Ruling broadens ski industry immunity
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Skiers and snowboarders in Colorado may want to start carrying their avalanche gear at developed resorts, after an appeals court ruled last week that avalanches are one of the many inherent risks of skiing on lift-served terrain.
The Colorado Court of Appeals decision (announced Feb. 13) stems from a deadly January 22, 2012 avalanche at Winter Park resort, when Christopher Norris died while skiing an open, inbounds run at Winter Park known as Trestle Trees. As it stands, the ruling broadens the almost unprecedented immunity that ski resorts have from being held liable for accidents, including inbounds avalanches. Continue reading
Filed under: avalanches, Colorado, Ski Resorts | Tagged: Colorado, inbounds avalanches, ski industry, Ski Safety Act, skiing, Trestle Tres avalanche, Winter Park | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 11, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
High avalanche danger prevailed across the Colorado mountains when two backcountry skiers died in snow slides Feb. 10.
High slide danger persists across the mountains
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Colorado’s exceptionally deep snowpack turned deadly this week, as a backcountry traveler near Kebler Pass was killed in a large avalanche. Search and rescue crews also found another victim in the backcountry between Keystone and Breckenridge after a two-day search.
According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the Feb. 10 Kebler Pass slide involved two snowmobilers caught in a “very large avalanche” on a south- to southeast-facing slope below treeline. The slide broke between two to five-feet deep, about 600 feet wide and ran about 750 vertical feet. Debris at the bottom of the slide piled up to 20 feet deep.
Filed under: avalanches, climate and weather, snow, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: avalanche deaths, avalanches, backcountry, Colorado, skiing, snow, snowmobiling | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 12, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Forecasters issue avalanche advisory for Summit-Vail and Front Range mountain zones
Big, dangerous slides like this slab avalanche in Uneva Bowl, near Vail Pass, are likely in the Colorado backcountry the next few days. bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — Dangerous avalanche conditions will persist across most of Colorado’s mountains for the next few days, as new snow and winds combine to bring the snowpack to its breaking point. With more snow in the forecast, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center issued an advisory for the Vail-Summit and Front Range zones, valid through 8 a.m. Monday (Jan. 12). Continue reading
Filed under: avalanches, climate and weather, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: avalanche warnings, avalanches, backcountry, Colorado, skiing, weather COWX | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 7, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Forecasters warn of persistent avalanche danger
FRISCO — Skiing the East Vail chutes when the avalanche danger is rated as considerable is a dangerous game of Russian Roulette. After numerous close calls in the area the past few weeks, a backcountry skier died in a snowslide on Monday, January 7. It is the second avalanche death in Colorado this season. The first occurred Dec. 31 on Parkview Mountain, west of Willow Creek Pass.
Outsideonline.com is reporting that the victim was 24-year-old Tony Seibert, the grandson of Vail co-founder Pete Seibert. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center confirmed the East Vail Chutes death, but the CAIC website offered few details on the deadly incident. The center’s avalanche experts will visit the site Jan. 8 to investigate the accident. Continue reading
Filed under: avalanches, climate and weather, Colorado, recreation, skiing and riding, Snow and weather, Summit County Colorado, Summit County news, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Avalanche, avalanche death, Colorado, East Vail Chutes | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 24, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
State report concludes the April 20 avalanche accident that killed five people was avoidable
Looking east along the crown line of an April 20 avalanche that killed five men in the Sheep Creek drainage near Loveland Pass, Colorado. Photo courtesy CAIC.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — It’s April in Colorado and heavy snow is falling on the mountains of the Continental Divide, where a high-spirited group of mountain enthusiasts gather to plan a short backcountry tour, envisioning dreamy, floating turns and faceshots on the slopes of Mt. Sniktau, a mountain along the Continental Divide between Loveland Ski Area and Arapahoe Basin where planners once hoped to create an Olympic ski arena.
Well equipped and versed in backcountry travel, the six men head up Loveland Pass, a Mecca for Colorado backcountry skiers since the early days of the sport. At Scotty’s Corner, the last hairpin before the crest, the men headed east across the face of the 13,234-foot peak, aiming for northwest facing slopes on the far side of a broad gully that splits the face of the peak, according to an April 24 report from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
Recognizing the potential danger of avalanches, the group identifies what they thought was a safe zone near a cluster of trees on a knoll on the far side of the drainage. They discuss the avalanche danger again, agreeing to spread out as they crossed the slope. But they aren’t cautious enough, given the magnitude of the slide they ultimately trigger at about 10:15 a.m. Continue reading
Filed under: avalanches, climate and weather, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: backcountry skiing, Colorado Avalanche Information Center, Colorado snow, Loveland Pass, Loveland Pass avalanche, search and rescue | 1 Comment »