The Colorado Avalanche Info Centre are saddened to report that Colorado’s first avalanche fatality of the season occurred south of the town of Ophir, where a backcountry snowboarder was caught and killed in an avalanche on January 22, 2024.
The backcountry snowboarder was caught and killed in Waterfall Creek, south of Ophir. The avalanche occurred on a northwest aspect below treeline. Friends reported the rider overdue that evening. A friend of the snowboarder followed what appeared to be a fresh up-track to a transition point above a slope locally known as the “Banker”. One set of fresh tracks descended the slope below. The friend returned to Ophir via the ascent route Search and rescue teams reached the accident site and recovered the snowboarder’s body on the morning of January 23. Search and rescue efforts were led by the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office and supported by San Miguel Search and Rescue, Helitrax, and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.