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Skier Killed in Avalanche Outside Beaver Creek

Sanctuary Chute outside Beaver Creek, where the accident occurred. CAIC photo.

On Monday, March 22, 2021 a skier was caught and killed in an avalanche outside Beaver Creek, Colorado. The victim was identified as Gary Allen Smith, a former patroller and gear tester for WildSnow.com. He and his ski partner were skiing Sanctuary Chute at the base of Larkspur bowl when the avalanche broke. Colorado Avalanche Information Center's report noted that the slide occurred on a north facing slope, below tree level at about 10,500 feet of elevation. The slide carried Smith more than 1,000 feet over a steep, rocky cliff face and buried him in 1-2 feet of snow. His ski partner located him and unburied him very quickly, but Smith did not survive the slide. 

This fatality is the 35th avalanche related death this season and the 12th in Colorado. Allen was well loved in the Eagle ski community and described by his colleagues at WildSnow as a "pillar of the backcountry ski community." Our thoughts are with Gary's friends, family and community. 

RELATED: A Note on How We Address Avalanche Fatalities 

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