1 Caught and Injured When Hikers Triggered Avalanche and Rock Slide on Colorado 14er

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avalanche, Torreys Peak, colorado
Looking up Dead Dog Couloir on Torreys Peak at the accident site. Credit: CAIC

A group of climbers preparing for a trip to the Pacific Northwest were climbing on the east face of Torreys Peak in an area locally known as Dead Dog Couloir in Clear Creek County, CO.

Shortly before 8:55 am on June 6, 2021, a section of rock on the climber’s right side of the couloir detached, showering the group with rocks and releasing a small loose wet avalanche.

Looking up Dead Dog Couloir at the accident site. The group was near the blue dot when the rockfall and avalanche released. The rocks detached near the red dot. Credit: CAIC

One of the climbers was hit by the moving debris. Two of the other climbers were struck by rocks; one was injured. The group provided first-aid to the injured climber and self-evacuated.

Although less likely in the summer, avalanches have killed backcountry travelers every month of the year in Colorado. Anytime there is snow on steep slopes, avalanches are possible. Pay attention to snow conditions if you are out in the backcountry. If you feel the surface snow getting wet and losing cohesion or if you see small loose wet avalanches running from steep rocky terrain, it is time to get off steep slopes.

Torreys Peak is a mountain in the Front Range region of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. It is one of fifty-three fourteeners in Colorado. Its nearest major city is Denver. Torreys Peak is located along the Continental Divide and the division between Clear Creek County and Summit County.

Torreys Peak, CO

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