The member of Mountain Rescue Aspen who died in an avalanche on Sunday beyond the boundary of Highlands has been identified as 57 year-old, John Galvin.
Galvin was a veteran member of the MRA team and two investigations into the incident are currently ongoing. A resident of the Roaring Fork Valley, the deceased was known for his dedication to backcountry safety and the greater Aspen community.
“John helped save lives of hundreds of visitors and locals who were in need while injured or stranded in our mountains. John will be missed by all on our team and in our community.” – Justin Hood, MRA President
At the time of the tragic accident, Galvin was accompanied by another skier who sustained minor injuries but in the end was able to self rescue. Volatile avalanche conditions are currently prohibiting rescue personnel from recovering his body.
Find up-to-date avy conditions here: Avalanche Advisory – Aspen
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Today, April 8th, a sidecountry skier was killed in an avalanche west of Aspen Highlands Ski Resort. • The Preliminary Report is available (link in profile) and will be updated as more information is available. Our sincerest condolences to the family, friends, and everyone affected by this tragic accident.
Joint Statement from MRA and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department
Pitkin County, Colorado – Monday, April 9, 2018 – As the investigation continues into the tragic accident that took the life of a Mountain Rescue Aspen (MRA) member, both agencies have begun the process to determine how to safely and efficiently affect the recovery. It is with great sadness that we identify 57-year-old John Galvin, a Roaring Fork Valley resident and 30-year veteran of MRA as the individual killed in the avalanche in the Maroon Bowl on Sunday, April 8, 2018. This same avalanche injured Galvin’s skiing partner, who was able to call for assistance and successfully self-rescued. Avalanche conditions on Sunday, April 8, 2018, prevented recovery crews from entering the avalanche zone in the Maroon Bowl.
Moving forward, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office has requested the assistance of professional snow safety personnel from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) to participate in the recovery mission. CAIC personnel will work with Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol this week to provide snow safety assessments which will be used to determine the best time and date to recover Galvin’s body. Due to current conditions there will be no attempts to recover Galvin’s body Monday, April 9, 2018.
“John was a dedicated and professional public safety volunteer, who unselfishly gave his time to our community over 30 years.” – Joe DiSalvo, Pitkin County Sheriff
As one can imagine, the members of both agencies, but specifically the all-volunteer rescuers from Mountain Rescue Aspen are particularly impacted by this loss. We wish to remind the public to heed the warnings of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center or professional snow safety resources in your state.