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.
The accident occurred on the Knik Glacier. Wikimedia commons photo. On Saturday, a helicopter headed for a heli-skiing excursion crashed in the Alaskan backcountry. Five of the six people on board passed away, and the lone survivor of the accident is currently in serious but stable condition at a hospital in Anchorage. The flight was chartered by Todrilllo Mountain Lodge (TML), and the five passengers consisted of three guests and two guides from the lodge. Saturday evening, Alaska State
This spring, Snow King will begin disassembling the iconic lift for its new eight-person gondola. Katie Lozancich photo. Sunday, March 28th marked the end of an era for Snow King’s iconic Summit Lift. For the last time this weekend, the black two-seater whisked skiers, snowboarders, and bystanders to the top of the hill. This summer the iconic lift is being replaced by an eight-person gondola, which will be running by next winter. In many ways, it was the little lift that could,
Coronavirus seems to have gotten the better of Whistler Blackcomb this past week. The resort and surrounding town opted to shut after another large spike in COVID-19 cases. British Columbia identified 2,518 new infections over last week alone, specifically a concerning cluster of the P1 Brazilian variant has been found. This variant causes concern due to the possibility of it being more resistant to other COVID antibodies. Whistler Blackcomb will stay closed until at least April