Posted inColoradans, News, Outdoors, Outsider

How a Breckenridge avalanche 35 years ago changed the trajectory of Colorado skiing

BRECKENRIDGE – It was sunny and cold on Feb. 18, 1987. Ski patroller Mary Logan remembers the snow squeaking beneath her skis as she rode the T-bar with patrol director Kevin Ahern.  They were watching two skiers atop Peak 7 in the Tenmile Range, just beyond the Breckenridge ski area boundary. They watched helplessly as […]

Posted inNews, Outdoors

Avalanche danger is climbing across Colorado’s high country

Heavy snowstorms that started last week have ratcheted up the avalanche danger in the Colorado mountains, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center warned. Nearly all of the Colorado high country was under “considerable” avalanche danger Monday, with only the Sangre de Cristo and Culebra mountain ranges on the eastern side of the San Luis Valley at […]

Posted inNews, Outdoors

Backcountry skier killed in Colorado’s first fatal avalanche this snow season

A backcountry skier was killed Friday in an avalanche west of Fort Collins, becoming the first person to die from an avalanche in Colorado this snow season. The avalanche happened at about 2 p.m. near Cameron Peak on the southeast end of South Diamond Peak, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said. The slide happened “in […]

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Family of Colorado avalanche victim drops lawsuit against school and guide, targets maker of air bag

The family of Peter Marshall, who was killed in an avalanche near Red Mountain Pass as he participated in an avalanche safety class with the Silverton Avalanche School, has dropped its lawsuit against the venerable school. But the family of the 40-year-old Longmont skier is suing K2 Sports and its company Backcountry Access, which makes […]

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Colorado’s 2020-21 avalanche season was tied for the deadliest. It’s helping forecasters hone warnings and outreach.

A once-in-a-decade layer of rotten snow in the mountains combined with unprecedented traffic in the backcountry made the 2020-21 avalanche season the deadliest in many years.  The 37 deaths across the country — each a tragedy that will resonate for lifetimes — delivered lessons to avalanche forecasters and researchers, especially in Colorado, where 12 men […]

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When people die in Colorado’s outdoors, sometimes friends are the ones to find them

A week after Vaughn Fetzer was reported missing on Blanca Peak, the fourth highest mountain in Colorado, friends found his body in an unstable area. Rescuers spent several days in freezing temperatures searching near vertical cliffs and scree fields but suspended the mission after a search team member was injured by falling rock in a […]

Posted inBusiness, Coloradans, Crime and Courts, News, Outdoors

Colorado Supreme Court ends decade-long fight over teen skier’s death in Vail inbounds avalanche

The Colorado Supreme Court has denied an appeal by the family of a 13-year-old skier killed in an inbounds avalanche in 2012 at Vail ski area. The court’s denial to hear the case effectively ends a nearly 10-year fight by the parents of Taft Conlin. Louise Ingalls and Steve Conlin argued that Vail ski area […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Outdoors

Eagle County mountaineer killed in avalanche outside Beaver Creek is 12th fatality this season

Few skiers had more experience in the backcountry than Gary Smith.  The Eagle County mountaineer had skied Denali, explored some of Colorado’s most remote peaks and shepherded countless skiers into the backcountry with his in-depth gear reviews for and work at Cripple Creek Backcountry shop in Vail.  On Monday, the 37-year-old mountaineer died in […]