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 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 March 4, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
New snow brings spike in avalanche danger
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Avalanches have killed four people since March 1, including a snowboarder near Cameron Pass (west of Fort Collins, March 2), a snowmobiler in Utah and a climber on Mountain Washington, in New Hampshire.
The latest Colorado avalanche was a monster, breaking up to six feet deep in places. The slide was estimated at 1,200 feet wide and broke trees as it crashed down the mountain. A second person was injured in the slide and evacuated from the scene by helicopter, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. Continue reading
Filed under: avalanches, climate and weather, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: 2013 avalanche deaths, avalanches, backcountry skiing, Cameron Pass, Colorado, Colorado Avalanche Information Center, snow | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 28, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Sketchy snowpack makes Summit County sheriff, resorts edgy
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — A sketchy snowpack and a series of avalanches in and near ski areas has prompted a joint warning on rope-ducking from Summit County Sheriff John Minor and local resorts.
Ducking a rope is also against the law as the part of the Colorado the Ski Safety Act of 1979. “You can face charges for this,” Minor said. “Don’t be naïve about the risk you’re taking, and don’t put others in danger because of your bad decisions.”
In one recent accident, a snowboarder ducked a rope at Keystone within sight of numerous people and broke through a cornice that triggered a slide. The man was caught and issued a summons by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office for skiing in a closed area. Continue reading
Filed under: Arapahoe Basin, avalanches, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colorado, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Ski Resorts, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: avalanches, Colorado, Colorado Avalanche Information Center, Ski Resorts, skiing | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 21, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Rapid deployment teams to test their response
A Flight For Life chopper drops off a search and rescue team during a rapid deployment exercise. Photo courtesy Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado avalanche deaths often near a peak in February, and a fickle snowpack in the backcountry has experts on edge once again this year.
To help keep emergency responders fully prepared for logistically challenging backcountry rescues, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and the Summit County Rescue Group will send rescue teams on a mock mission in Mayflower Gulch this weekend in a rapid deployment exercise.
At about 9 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 23), Flight For Life helicopters will begin transporting rescue teams from the Corn Lot at Copper Mountain Ski Resort into the vicinity of the Boston Mine in Mayflower Gulch. Snowmobiles will be used to transport participants and equipment along Mayflower Gulch Road back to the parking lot at the end of the exercise. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: avalanches, backcountry rescue, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, Summit Rescue Group | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 20, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Monthly Breckenridge ski patrol talk to focus on backcountry travel techniques and terrain choices
There’s plenty of good backcountry powder skiing in Summit County, but it’s best to stay on low-angle terrain right now, like this 28-degree slope on Baldy, Photo courtesy Matt Krane.
CAIC forecaster Tim Brown examines the crown face of a large avalanche in Montezuma Bowl, at Arapahoe Basin. Photo courtesy CAIC.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — With forecasters warily eying backcountry avalanche hazards and more snow on the way this week, Breckenridge ski patrollers will focus on safe backcountry travel techniques, route-finding and terrain selection during their monthly talk this Thursday evening (Village at Breckenridge, Tenmile Room, 6 p.m.).
The topic is especially timely following recent close calls and a cycle of natural slides in the backcountry, said Breckenridge ski patroller Matt Krane. Last week, a party of four backcountry travelers were involved with a sizable slide on Peak 6. Continue reading
Filed under: avalanches, Breckenridge, Colorado, recreation, skiing and riding, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: avalanche education, avalanche safety, avalanches, backcountry skiing, Breckenridge ski patrol, Colorado, Summit County Colorado | Leave a comment »