4th Avalanche Death in the USA at Silverton, Colorado

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The avalanche crown.
The avalanche crown. photo: caic

A 23-year-old woman was killed in an avalanche after being swept through trees on Kendall Mountain south of Silverton, Colorado yesterday, January 6th, 2014.

She was skiing at around 11,000-feet, one at a time, when she was caught in a small avalanche and carried into a group of trees.  The victim was gravely injured most likely from hitting trees on her way down.  The rescue operation took many hours and she was unresponsive before being transported toMercy Regional Medical Center.  She was declared dead upon arriving at the hospital.

The avalanche crown.  photo:  caic
The avalanche path. photo: caic

Emergency personell was notified at 4pm and she was delivered to an ambulance at 7pm where she was taken to a life flight helicopter.

The avalanche danger was rated as “Moderate” at the time of the avalanche.  Warming temperatures in the area likely contributed to the instability that allowed the avalanche.

Map of avalanche location.  image:  caic
Map of avalanche location. image: caic

The avalanche victim was from Durango, Colorado.

Females do not die in avalanches very often.  Only 22% of avalanche deaths are women.

This is the second avalanche death in Colorado in the past week.  On December 31st, 2014, a snowshoer died in an avalanche on Kelso Mountain while climbing Torreys peak, CO.

The avalanche crown.  photo:  caic
The avalanche path. photo: caic

COLORADO AVALANCHE CENTER PRELIMINARY REPORT:

On January 6, 2014 a group of backcountry skiers were descending the Rabbit Ears (Arcade) avalanche path on Kendall Mountain, southwest of the town of Silverton. One was caught in a small avalanche and washed into a stand of trees. The skier was seriously injured and the rescue lasted well into the evening. The skier was transported to a local hospital, but died as the result of injuries sustained in the avalanche. – CAIC


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