The avalanche that fully buried a skier outside of Aspen Mountain

[All photos courtesy of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center]

An employee of Aspen Ski Co. owned Powder Tours was caught in an avalanche near Aspen Mountain on Saturday reports Glenwood Springs’ Post Independent.

The buried victim was discovered via a quick beacon search and extracted by his partner. The victim left the area relatively unscathed and is reported to have been at work the next day.

Aspen Avalanche Details:

  • Trigger: Skier
  • Aspect: East
  • Type: Soft Slab
  • Size: R2, D1.5

Related: Skier Triggers Large Slide In The Crested Butte Backcountry Over The Weekend

A litany of observations have flooded the Colorado Avalanche Information Center as of late and in case you were wondering– persistent weak layers are definitely out there.

Avalanche Bulletin [Aspen]:

The avalanche danger is decreasing; however, dangerous human triggered avalanches are still possible. You can trigger avalanches that break in a weak layer just below the most recent storm snow or avalanches that break near the ground. You are most likely to trigger larger more dangerous avalanches in area that catch and hold wind drifted snow such as areas below easterly-facing ridgelines, on the sides of gully walls, in concave terrain features, or on near treeline convex rollovers.

The most dangerous areas could be near treeline because of the snow distribution. To help mitigate your risk, avoid areas where you see evidence of previous wind-loading. Do not let yourself get pulled into step areas, rollovers, gullies, and meadows, near and below treeline without careful thought. If you trigger an avalanche today it could be large enough to bury you.  

Find up-to-date Colorado Avalanche forecasts here: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

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