Mother Witnesses Son Swept Away In Loveland Pass Avalanche

Mother Witnesses Son Swept Away In Loveland Pass Avalanche

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Mother Witnesses Son Swept Away In Loveland Pass Avalanche

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Frightening situation for a Colorado ski mom who witnessed her son get caught in an avalanche Sunday in an area known as Dave’s Wave on Loveland Pass. CBS Denver reports the pair where on a mission to retrieve a piece of rappel gear they had left behind the day before when they rappelled to ski a chute locally known as Butt Crack.

The mother stayed in a safe zone to the side of the avalanche and was not caught. The son took an estimated 200 to 300 foot ride in the avalanche debris, including an uncontrolled cliff drop estimated at 50ft. It took the mother about 10 minutes to reach her son where she found him buried up to his waist with minor injuries.

The area is in the backcountry between Loveland Pass and the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. According to a Colorado Avalanche Information Center report from 2008 of an avalanche in that area, the run can be seen from the ski area and U.S. 6.

Summit County Rescue Group:

At about noon on Sunday, February 13th, we received a call for an avalanche on the west side of Loveland Pass with a confirmed skier burial. A mother and son on skis intended to retrieve a piece of rappel gear they had left behind the day before when they rappelled to ski a chute locally known as Butt Crack. As the son traversed toward the top of the chute, he cut across a steep slope below the ridge and triggered an avalanche.
The mother stayed in a safe zone to the side of the avalanche and was not caught. The son took an estimated 200 to 300-foot ride in the avalanche debris, including an estimated 50-foot drop off a cliff. It took the mother about ten minutes to reach him and she found him buried up to his waist with minor injuries.
SCRG, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, a Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment team, Arapahoe Basin Ski Patrol and Flight For Life Colorado all responded to this incident although our services were not needed in the end. Both skiers were able to ski out on their own.
It is incredible that the skier caught was able to walk away from this accident. Although avalanche danger has been relatively low lately there is still danger and it’s important not to get complacent. Read the CAIC forecast and follow safe practices. Be aware that high winds in the central mountains over the past few days have created slabs and increased the avalanche danger.
It should also be noted that while both skiers were experienced, knowledgeable and well equipped, equipment will not help you if you are in a terrain trap such as this one.

images from Summit County Rescue Group

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