The Colorado Avalanche Information Center is reporting the first case of a human caught in a slide in or around Summit County, CO this season. The incident was minor, and the skier was unharmed and able to self-rescue, reports Summit Daily.
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Two skiers left the Hoosier Pass parking lot and toured north-northwest on County Road 2. The skiers left the road and continued uphill following a bench in the terrain. The skiers intended to dig a snowpit on an east-facing slope. They spaced apart and crossed beneath the slope with Skier 1 in the lead. While crossing the slope, the avalanche released and a few inches of snow washed over Skier 1’s skis. Skier 1 was tripped by the moving snow. Skier 1 fell downhill and debris ran over, and covered, his lower body. Skier 2 was downhill below the bench and was not hit by the avalanche. The avalanche debris accumulated and stopped on the bench above Skier 2. Skier 1 was able to self-extricate from the debris and was uninjured in the avalanche.
According to the CAIC’s report, the incident occurred at 11,850-feet in a popular touring area in the slopes above the North Star neighborhood, directly above County Road 2. The slide was likely caused by the collapse of a slab of old snow under the season’s new snow. A small pocket within the slide stepped down to the ground while the caught skier was touring below the slope. The skier then yelled “Avalanche!” when the slide quietly broke. Only a few inches of snow washed over his skis, but he tripped, falling downhill. The skier’s lower body was partially buried. The skier was moved a little over 3 yards downhill on the toe of the slide. Both the skier and companion were equipped with appropriate gear and beacons.