A backcountry skier was killed in a human triggered avalanche Wednesday on Red Peak approximately 5 miles west of Silverthorne. The victim was in a party of three. The slide occurred after the skiers summitted the peak and began their descent. The body has not been recovered yet. The Summit County Rescue Group (SCRG) made the following statement about the incident:
At about 1:40 p.m. on 15 April the Summit County Rescue
Group (SCRG) was notified of a skier triggered avalanche on Red Mountain, just north of Silverthorne, Colorado, resulting in one fatality. Information about the avalanche was initially obtained via activation of a personal emergency beacon. Red Mountain is located in the Gore Range.
Three skiers had ascended Red Mountain from the southeast side and spent a short time on the summit before initiating their descent. The trio was at the upper portion of their planned path when a shallow avalanche broke at the location of the uphill skier, who was not caught in the ensuing slide. The other two skiers were knocked down. One slid only a short distance and managed to roll back over onto his skis and right himself. The third member was carried approximately 1800 feet and sustained fatal injuries.
The skiers were experienced, well versed in backcountry travel and properly equipped with avalanche beacons, shovels and probe poles. One of the individuals had skied this route on previous occasions.
SCRG, taking into consideration snow and avalanche conditions (danger rating of considerable), fading light, the distance to the victim (about 8 to 9 miles round trip over rough terrain), and the impending heavy snow storm, made the difficult decision not to send in recovery teams that evening. When weather conditions permit, SCRG will send in teams for the recovery.
Information about the victim is not being released pending notification of next of kin. Any additional information will be released by the Summit County Coroner’s Office.