29-Year-Old Female Backcountry Skier Killed by Avalanche in Colorado on Sunday

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Looking up the slide path from the toe of the avalanche. The crown face is obscured by the clouds at the top of the image. The avalanche was approximately 285 feet wide at the crown face and around 375 feet wide at the toe. The avalanche ran around 425 vertical feet. Credit: CAIC

On Sunday, December 8, a 29-year-old female backcountry skier was caught and fully buried in an avalanche at 11,400-feet on south Diamond Peak near Cameron Pass in Colorado. A member of her touring party and other people in the area performed a rescue. They recovered her from the snow, but she did not survive.

CAIC forecasters visited the accident site on December 9. They reported that the avalanche was approximately 285 feet wide at the crown face and around 375 feet wide at the toe. The avalanche ran around 425 vertical feet. The crown face varied in depth from about 1.5 feet deep on the lookers left to around 3 feet deep on the lookers right. Forecasters found multiple weak layers. The avalanche stepped down to the ground in the thinner areas.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports that it’s been an active few weeks for avalanches in the high country. The 2018-2019 winter season in Colorado saw eight people killed by avalanches, two more than the average, according to the Colorado Sun.

According to the CAIC, seven people have been caught in avalanches and 185 total slides have been recorded between November 25 and December 2.


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