Category Archive:colorado

Maurice Kervin has spent 65 days snowboarding so far this season. Friday is a day he won't forget. On that day the snowboarder was caught in an avalanche.

Kervin had recently completed a Level 1 safety course through the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE). Despite that, he did not avoid the recognized risk.

"I remember telling my buddy 'I don’t know man. I’m kind of nervous about this run, and if it goes it’s probably going to go big,'" said Kervin.

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Silverton Avalanche School is the beneficiary of the second annual Know the Snow Rando Race. The race at Purgatory raises money for the Know the Snow Fund.

In 2020, the race raised more than $10,000 and provided 19 scholarships for skiers to attend avalanche education courses with Silverton Avalanche School.

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Peter Marshall died in an avalanche during an avalanche safety class near Red Mountain Pass in 2019. In an avalanche lawsuit his family names the school, the guide, and Backcountry Access.

The slide swept six skiers down a slope. All of them were part of a Level 2 American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) class. Which was offered by the Silverton Avalanche School.

The family is suing the guide, school and local rescue group. And also the maker of an avalanche airbag and its private equity firm owner. This lawsuit marks the second recent legal action involving avalanches based on reports by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).

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An avalanche survivor is talking about being buried by snow to encourage others to be safe while in the mountains. A year ago he had a life changing experience. He and some friends were snowboarding at Steamboat Resort when an avalanche was triggered above them.

Miraculously, he says his friends found him just as ski patrol was arriving. “I guess my buddies were saying they took my arm out and it just flopped and I was just blue.” He was taken to a hospital and was not injured.

He wants people to know that enjoying the mountains is still a good thing. Just make sure you go with people who have avalanche training.

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During the past week backcountry skiers have triggered more than 10 avalanches in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Although nobody was seriously injured there have been some dangerous close calls.

There were six reports of skier-triggered San Juan avalanches in the Wolf Creek Pass area. And another five in the western San Juan Mountains.

One skier was caught in two avalanches. They were caught and carried about 100 to 130 feet and deployed an airbag. The skier was “pushed and knocked around but able to stay upright.”

The skier then came to a stop and got the airbag operational again. Attempting to ski down, the skier was caught in a second avalanche, carried another 100 to 130 feet and deployed the airbag again.

The unstable snowpack is a result of early season snow in October and dry weather for weeks in November, causing the snowpack to become weak. Then, additional snow on top of that weak layer causes avalanches.

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A final report on a fatal skier triggered avalanche that killed two Durango backcountry skiers last weekend says it appears the skiers likely triggered the slide while climbing up an avalanche path.

The skier triggered avalanche occurred on a steep slope above tree line. “They went on a day that wasn’t a good day to be there,” the official report said. Other skiers in the area that day were interviewed. They mostly stayed in lower angle areas and in the trees. They noted the dangerous conditions on the higher, steeper and open slopes.

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A ski patroller buried by an avalanche was on the northeast end of the Anthracite Range, known as Friendly Finish, in the Gunnison area. He was touring alone in the backcountry at the time.

The avalanche occurred on a northeast-facing slope and the avalanche risk was rated as "considerable," or 3 out of 5. The slide took place at about 10,500 feet.

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A new avalanche beacon training park outside Minturn, Colorado gives the public an accessible opportunity to practice using avalanche transceivers. Beacons are a critical piece of safety equipment for winter backcountry recreation.

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An avalanche swept a snowboarder into a tree on Tuesday afternoon. It happened on Snodgrass Mountain near Crested Butte. The snowboarder was on a split board.

While there have been several media worthy avalanche accidents already this season the official fatality list shows none in the US so far.

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Avalanche risk is already present in Colorado despite the lack of early season snow. According to a user-submitted report to the Colorado Avalanche Center a skier was caught in a human-caused avalanche burial on Monday near Marble, Colorado.

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