The avalanche on Upper Senator Beck Basin | Photo (+Cover): CAIC

The skier who perished in the Colorado avalanche on Saturday was part of a larger, avalanche safety course that included 5 others, all of whom got buried but were lucky enough to walk away from the incident alive. The course was being conducted by Silverton Avalanche School reports The Denver Post.

According to CAIC, the group triggered a single avalanche and unfortunately– that slide triggered yet another, second avalanche.

Those who weren’t buried, quickly proceeded to find and extract their buried classmate, who was located some 8+ feet below the snow surface. The victim was found unresponsive and recovery efforts proved unsuccessful.

The victim was recovered the following day by an interagency collaboration of search and rescue teams.

Avalanche Details:

  • Location: Upper Senator Beck Basin, northwest of Red Mountain Pass
  • Date: 2019/01/05
  • Summary Description: 6 backcountry skiers caught, 1 buried and killed
  • Type: Hard Slab
  • Trigger: AS – Skier
  • Size – Relative to Path: R2
  • Size – Destructive Force: D2
  • Slope Aspect: S
  • Site Elevation: 13000 ft

Preliminary Report:

A group of backcountry skiers participating in an avalanche safety course triggered an avalanche on the afternoon of January 5. All six members of the group were caught in the avalanche. The avalanche released a second avalanche sympathetically. The second avalanche ran over the debris pile of the first slide. One member of the group was buried in the debris of the two avalanches. The rest of the group located him and extricated him from under at least 2.5 m of snow. They tried to revive him on site, but were unsuccessful. The rest of the group made their way to US 550 with the help of San Juan County Search and Rescue, Ouray Mountain Rescue, La Plata County Search and Rescue, Careflight, and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.  

Find the entire report page here: Avalanche Fatality – Upper Senator Beck Basin, northwest of Red Mountain Pass