By Bob Berwyn
A snowboarder died March 10 in the backcountry near Arapahoe Basin after triggering an avalanche in what’s known as the First Steep Gully, just outside the ski area boundary. It was the fourth avalanche death of the season in Colorado. On average, six people die in avalanches in the state each year.
According Dan Burnett and Becky Baylor, coordinators with the Summit County Rescue Group, the snowboarder triggered the avalanche and was swept about 1,000 feet over the steep, rocky terrain. Burnett said the snow only piled up 18 inches deep at the bottom of the avalanche, so the victim likely died of trauma suffered during the slide. Officially, the cause of death has not been announced, pending further investigation.
Read the rest of this story at Summit County Citizens Voice, the website created by longtime Colorado journalist Bob Berwyn. According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, this slide was powerful enough that it broke trees six inches in diameter. The CAIC also reported that there was another, remotely triggered avalanche on Wednesday morning in Steep Gully #4, and a skier-triggered slide in Steep Gully #2 on Monday.