Avalanche Buries Patroller at Steamboat Resort, CO

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Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Image: Twitter

A patroller at Steamboat Resort, CO, was caught and buried in an avalanche while performing mitigation work in a closed area on Tuesday, the resort has shared on Facebook.

The patroller was quickly located and dug out by his colleagues, Loryn Duke, director of communications for Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp, told the Steamboat Pilot. The team was working in the area between East Face and North St. Pats.

“Thanks to amazing team members’ fast reaction and really good training, our patroller was dug out pretty quickly, and everyone is safe. This is an important reminder that snow conditions vary and slides can happen.”

– Loryn Duke

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Avalanche location.

While the avalanche risk around Steamboat was rated HIGH on Tuesday, and an avalanche warning was in place, this was an uncharacteristic avalanche in that area. The rating remains CONSIDERABLE today and tomorrow.

“You can trigger large and dangerous avalanches that can bury and kill you where you find recently drifted snow. A cohesive slab rests on top of old, weak snow near the ground. You may trigger one of these avalanches from a distance or below, and they may run further than expected. Give yourself a wide margin of safety for any suspect slope. Stick to slopes less than about 30 degrees if you see any signs of unstable snow, like shooting cracks or an audible collapse.”

CAIC forecast

This slide is a great reminder that conditions vary, and currently, there is HIGH avalanche risk in the Park Mountain Range due in part to the ice storm that occurred during pre-season and the large amount of snow that has accumulated over the past week. This area of the mountain remains closed to all staff and guests while teams continue to prepare it for the season. Please take into consideration the avalanche warnings if you are thinking about going into unmitigated areas (including the Canyon and backcountry).

Tuesday’s avalanche forecast. Credit: CAIC

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