Backcountry skier Avalanche Death

It’s the first avalanche fatality this season in Colorado, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

On Sunday December 8, a backcountry skier was caught and fully buried in an avalanche on south Diamond Peak, Cameron Pass. A member of her touring party and other people in the area performed a rescue. They recovered her from the snow, but she did not survive. CAIC said the avalanche happened where there was a “moderate” risk for avalanches.

CAIC forecasters visited the accident site on December 9. They reported that the avalanche was approximately 285 feet wide at the crown face and around 375 feet wide at the toe. The avalanche ran around 425 vertical feet. The crown face varied in depth from about 1.5 feet deep on the lookers left to around 3 feet deep on the lookers right. Forecasters found multiple weak layers. The avalanche stepped down to the ground in the thinner areas. Below is a photo from the avalanche toe looking up the slide path.

Our deepest condolences go out to the friends and family of the deceased, and to everyone affected by this accident.

Photo by C Dennee