One Killed in Avalanche Near Wolf Creek Pass, CO Yesterday | Partners Did Not Have Shovels

AvyBrains | | AvalancheAvalanche
Stock image of Wolf Creek Pass, CO backcountry area. photo: splitboard.com
Stock image of Wolf Creek Pass, CO backcountry area. photo: splitboard.com

“Tuesday the 2nd Colorado recorded its third avalanche fatality of the season when a snowmobiler stuck in a gully triggered an avalanche on the east side of Wolf Creek Pass. The avalanche was not relatively large, but a lack of shovels and the terrain trap nature of the accident prevented a speedy recovery.” – CAIC

A group of 4 snowmobilers were riding near Wolf Creek Pass, CO when 2 of the riders were caught in an avalanche around 4pm yesterday, February 2nd, 2016.  One rider was partially buried, the other was fully buried.

The avalanche occurred in Lost Mine Creek drainage area between Campo Mollino and Park Creek.

The surviving 3 riders left the scene of the avalanche to look for help since they were unable to dig their friend out due to none of them carrying shovels.  They called 911 at 6pm once they acquired cell phone service.

Wolf Creek ski area, Minearl Country Sheriff’s Office, and Rio Grand County Sheriff’s Office all helped with the search and rescue.

The fully buried snowboarder was deceased when located.  He was a 23-year man from South Dakota.

This 23-year-old may have survived had his friends been carrying shovels.   Please never go into the backcountry/avalanche terrain without all the necessary avalanche gear, education, experience, and badass partners.

Map showing location of yesterday's deadly avalanche.
Map showing location of yesterday’s deadly avalanche.

“On February 2, 2016, a group of four snowmobilers departed from the Tucker Ponds trailhead east of Wolf Creek Pass. At approximately 4 PM, the group was snowmobiling in the Lost Mine Creek drainage between Campo Mollino and Park Creek. During the course of their ride, two members of the group were caught in an avalanche. One rider was partially buried and the other was completely buried.

The group left the scene to go for emergency assistance. They obtained cell coverage and placed a call to 911 at approximately 6 PM. Local riders, personnel from the Wolf Creek Ski Area, and Mineral and Rio Grand County Sheriff’s Offices all participated in the search and rescue effort.

CAIC staff visited the site on February 3rd. We’ll post more information as it become available.” – Colorado Avalanche Information Center, today

image: caic
image: caic

This was the 16th avalanche death in the USA this year including 12 in January alone.

This year’s total may rise in USA when two currently missing people are determined to have died form avalanches.  A doctor at Hatcher Pass AK, a ski instructor at Donner Pass, CA.

Last winter, the USA saw only 11 avalanche deaths.

There have been 6 avalanche deaths in Canada this year including 5 dying together in an avalanche last Friday in Canada.

 


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