Tragedy reached Cameron Pass, Colorado when a backcountry skier died in an avalanche on Christmas Eve.
According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the skier, who has yet to be identified, was on the slope when a 250-foot wide avalanche struck near Cameron Pass in north-central Colorado.
Following the accident, the victim’s partner found him using a transceiver and probe pole. Once the partner located the downed skier, they took him out the snow.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the friends, family, and everyone affected by this tragic accident,” the information center said.
The avalanche danger is HIGH (Level 4 of 5) across much of Colorado,” the center continued. “Be very careful if you are traveling in the mountains over the next few days.”
Forecasters with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center will continue investigating the site through Christmas Day.
Approximately 2,300 avalanches occur each season, and up to ten times this amount tends to go unreported.
Skier and Snowmobiler Killed in Recent Idaho Avalanche
This winter hasn’t been short on snowfall fatalities this year. Just last Friday, on December 17, another avalanche in Idaho killed a skier and snowboarder. The two had been on a slope near Relay Ridge in the vicinity of Ryan Peak, west of Driggs.
Originally, officials received a report of two avalanche victims. One person had been riding a snowmobile, while the other had been skiing. Upon receiving the news, Search and Rescue teams from Teton County Idaho, Madison County, and Teton County, WY as well as Air Idaho dispatched to the slope to locate the victims.
While the victims’ identities are still unknown, Teton Valley News released that they were “two male juveniles.”
Officials are still investigating the cause of the avalanche.
Prior to the accident, the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center had issued a warning to all snowsports enthusiasts. The center reported that avalanche hazard was “considerable” after three to four feet of snow reached the area overnight. Storms continued through the morning of the accident with “gusty winds and light to moderate snowfall.”
Washington Avalanche Kills One, Almost Buries Five Others
Not a full week prior to the Idaho accident, another avalanche in Washington left rescuers scouring the slopes for six victims. Located 85 miles southeast of Seattle, Crystal Mountain is the state’s largest ski resort with 2,600 acres and a reputation for some tough terrain.
Just before 11 a.m. on December 11, responding teams flocked to Silver Basin, a backcountry area of the mountain to begin the rescue efforts. They pulled all skiers from the snow but were unable to revive a 60-year-old man.
The slope was a part of a black diamond area that was outside of the regular ski area and adjacent to the “Avalanche Basin.”