Skier killed in avalanche near Aspen

Pictured here is the fractured, top surface of a snow slide, known as the crown face of an avalanche, that killed a male skier near Aspen, Colo. Photo courtesy the Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Jan. 22 (UPI) — A backcountry skier died Monday in an avalanche outside Aspen, Colo.

The avalanche began around 10:20 a.m. and, shortly afterwards, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office received a report that a male had been buried in snow in the area of Markley Hut near the town of Ashcroft, the sheriff’s office said in a media release.

The male skier, who was among a group of six friends and family members, was extricated from the snow slide and was given CPR.

However, due to poor weather and avalanche conditions that hindered the 26 members of Mountain Rescue Aspen who were deployed, the rescue mission was unsuccessful and was soon after deemed a recovery operation.

The identity of the skier is being withheld until next of kin is notified, the release said, adding that the members of his party were put in contact with the Aspen Hope Center for grief counseling.

The avalanche occurred at an altitude of 11,200 feet. It broke two to four feet deep, 500 feet wide and about 600 feet vertically, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said.

On Friday, the CAIC had tweeted an avalanche advisory warning that conditions would be dangerous over the weekend and into holiday Monday.

“Backcountry travel this weekend will require conservative decision making,” the tweet read.

The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office stressed in the media release for the public to consider “the inherent dangers and risks” of backcountry travel and recreation during this time of winter.




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