A solo mountaineer was lucky to escape with his life today after triggering an avalanche while climbing alone in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area of Colorado. The slide, which took place on East S. Arapahoe Peak at a slope of 35 degrees, was estimated to be within 150-200 feet. The victim was able to self-rescue and was later treated for injuries at a nearby emergency center.
“AVY SEASON HAS STARTED,” reads the beginning of a post by the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group on Facebook. The unnamed climber credits his Wilderness First Responder training with helping him to stay calm and self-evacuate.
A hiker left from the 4th of July trail head. He hiked up the Arapaho Pass and Arapaho Glacier Trails to about 11,500 feet. At that elevation, recent snow became too deep to make progress and he decided to descend. To avoid deeper drifts of snow, the hiker moved off trail and descended down a rocky, convex slope.
At about 10:30 the hiker postholed through about four feet of drifted snow. He watched the avalanche fracture above and to the east of him. The majority of the avalanche ran through a gully to the east of the hiker. The avalanche swept him over several cliffs 10 to 15 feet high. He was carried about 150 vertical feet and injured. He hiked out and drove himself to a hospital and said he suffered “cuts, bruises, and a fractured pelvis.”
“Avy season hit me by surprise today,” he ended with.
- Aspect: South
- Elevation: 11,400′
- Trigger: Posthole
- Slope Angle: 35°
Find the entire report here: 2018/10/15 – Colorado – South of South Arapaho Peak, Indian Peaks