Editor's Note: TGR understands the inherent risks with winter backcountry activity and urges anyone going out to have the proper knowledge, equipment, a partner, and a plan. For more information on how to stay safe in the backcountry, check out TGR’s annual Safety Week series.
The debris pile from several avalanches in RMNP. Four skiers were caught in the slide on the left. CAIC photo.
This season has been one for the textbooks when it comes to avalanche activity in Colorado. Already notorious for an unpredictable and often extremely dangerous snowpack, record amounts of snowfall this past winter have put Colorado’s backcountry skiers and snowboarders in an unusual place.
This past weekend, after heavy snowfall in the Front Range, several people were reported caught in slides in Rocky Mountain National Park. One particular incident on Saturday caught four people prompting a rescue in a popular steep couloir above the Bear Lake parking lot – Dead Elk – according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. The rating was listed as moderate, with special notes detailing the possibility for wet slides and wind slab avalanches. Luckily, nobody was fully buried, and all four individuals survived without significant injuries.
The crown of the Dead Elk Couloir avalanche. CAIC photo.
On Sunday, two climbers triggered an avalanche on nearby Tyndall Glacier in RMNP, taking a ride in the debris. Neither was hurt and they were able to self-extract.
Winter might be over, but avalanches are clearly still a threat in Colorado’s mountains, with an unconsolidated and unpredictable snowpack in many parts of the state. Heavy loading, like the nine inches that fell this weekend combined with strong winds, can still present extremely dangerous mid-winter-like conditions, especially on steep lines typically considered safer this time of year.
On February 28th, 2019, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort's backcountry gates were closed. Several feet of snow had fallen over the past few days, and avalanche danger was "High" at all elevations. In conjunction with the Park Service and Teton County Search and Rescue, JHMR briefly prohibited backcountry access via resort exit points. That afternoon, a group of four ducked a rope off the Teton lift in search of fresh tracks in Granite Canyon. Two of the skiers successfully exited the
What started as a few 10-year old Aspen ski racers toying around and causing no good in their little ski gang deemed ‘The Stallions,’ would later evolve into a 15-member crew of ripping skiers. The group's name would change to something more representative of their ideals, a name set in place to pay homage to the late Hunter S. Thompson and his adopted slogan while running for Sheriff of Aspen and Pitkin County–“Freak Power.” While the esteemed journalist would lose the election he
A man died on Wyoming's Snake River on Tuesday afternoon after his raft became tangled on a log. The 44-year-old man, identified as Brian Allen by the JH News and Guide, was on a scenic float training trip with the Grand Teton Lodge Company. RELATED: Strong Late-Season Storm to Affect CO Grand Teton National Park rangers responded to the scene near the historic Bar BC Dude Ranch with multiple rescue boats and medical personnel. A helicopter was dispatched to aid in the search. According to