HomeOutdoorsNewsSki Patroller at Popular Colorado Resort Buried by Avalanche

Ski Patroller at Popular Colorado Resort Buried by Avalanche

by Megan Molseed
(photo by Sam Mellish / In Pictures via Getty Images Images)

A popular Colorado ski resort faced potential tragedy earlier this week when an avalanche unexpectedly swallowed up a ski patroller. Thankfully, the resort area designed for the outdoor winter sport was facing avalanche mitigation efforts that day, when the shocking avalanche hit. As a result, fellow ski patrollers in the area were able to pull the unfortunate skier from the heavy snow.

A statement released by Colorado’s Steamboat Ski Resort notes that a week of heavy snow in the area has led to potentially deadly avalanche conditions. Conditions that led to the disastrous Tuesday avalanche.

This Slide Came During Avalanche Mitigation Efforts In The Area

According to updates about the potentially deadly avalanche, the slide occurred when professionals were scaling the area pursuing avalanche mitigation efforts. The officials note that the slide was possibly triggered during these mitigation efforts that were occurring between East Face and North St. Pats.

Those on the mountain during the snow slide acted quickly as the snow patroller was buried in the fall. He was dug out immediately by another member of the ski patrol. Officials note that the man is safe after his rescue.

Slides Such As This One Are “Uncharacteristic” In This Area of The Colorado Hills

According to officials on the mountain at the time of the avalanche, events such as this one are rare. However, they are not impossible making this a great reminder that conditions can vary greatly with winter storms coming in and out of the area.

“While this is an uncharacteristic avalanche in our area, this slide is a great reminder that conditions vary,” officials explain.

“Currently there is high avalanche risk in the Park Mountain Range,” the statement continues.

“Due in part to the ice storm that occurred during pre-season,” the explanation continues. “And the large amount of snow that has accumulated over the past week.”

As a result of the potentially deadly avalanche event, authorities have closed areas of the mountain including the East Face and North St. Pats areas. These areas remain closed to all resort staff and guests until further notice as crews continue to prepare the area for the skiing season.

The statement from resort officials and authorities in the area warns skiers and resort goers to take these warnings seriously. Avalanches can occur out of the blue in any snow-covered area within resorts such as this one.

“Please take into consideration the avalanche warnings,” the recently released statement notes. Especially, the warning reads, “if you are thinking about going into unmitigated areas (including the Canyon and backcountry).”