Avalanche Alert: Colorado – Telemark Skier from Fraser Lucky to be Alive

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 4, 2012 4:42 pm

Colorado’s backcountry was handed a “moderate” avalanche warning after a Telemark skier triggered a fairly large avalanche near Berhound Pass this past Sunday. The skier from Fraser, who at this time has only been identified as Matt, was dragged over 400 feet across dangerously sharp rocks.

He was left completely covered in snow, except for his face, which was the key factor that allowed rescuers to hear his shouts for help.

There was a weak layer of snow underneath the top base. When Matt and his friend began to ski atop the temperamental snow pack it immediately gave away, creating a 300 foot-wide avalanche that the Fraser-resident was unable to avoid.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) stated on their website, “Added to the small triggered events from Friday was a much larger hard slab which was triggered by a skier on an east aspect at 11,800 feet near Berthoud Pass on Sunday afternoon. The rider was into about the 7th or 8th turn, maybe 100+ feet down slope from the ridge crest, when they triggered the slab near the riders left flank. They were unable to escape off the slab and took a 400 plus vertical foot ride. We are putting the investigation facts together and hope to have a full report together soon.”

Aside from being pretty banged up by the rocks he was dragged across, Matt is reportedly in stable condition and expected to recover to Tele-ski another day.

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