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, Outsider

Following a historic Colorado avalanche season, pros and entrepreneurs create new tools for safer backcountry travel

Responding to one of the worst avalanche seasons on record, a growing number of backcountry skiers are developing tools to help fellow adventurers move more safely through the snowy mountains. The innovation feels especially urgent after last season, when 37 skiers, climbers and snowmobilers were killed in avalanches nationwide, including 12 in Colorado. The 2021-22 […]

Posted inNews, Outdoors, Outsider

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 […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, News, Newsletters, Outdoors, Outsider

Lack of jurors prompts mistrial in Colorado case against snowboarders who triggered avalanche above I-70

Summit County Judge Ed Casias sent out 40 summonses to local residents for Thursday’s docket. Only a fraction showed up — not enough to help decide one of the more interesting high-country cases in years.  After dismissing some potential jurors for cause — like a vaccine shot and a big test for a college student […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, News, Outdoors

Avalanche center boss will testify in criminal case against Summit County snowboarders as judge rejects “chilling effect” argument

A Summit County judge has rejected the Colorado Attorney General’s argument that forcing the boss of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center to testify in a rare criminal case could have a chilling effect on the way backcountry travelers share avalanche observations with the agency. “I would really hope that the chilling effect that is being […]

Posted inColoradans, Environment, News, Outdoors

Avalanche danger remains high in the West, 32 deaths confirmed this season

By Pat Graham, The Associated Press Snowboarder Maurice Kervin glided into the snow along the steep terrain in the Colorado backcountry like he’s done so many times. There was no warning for what happened next as he glanced over his shoulder: a rush of snow swiftly heading his way. Caught in an avalanche last month, […]

Posted inColoradans, Environment, News, Outdoors

Northern Colorado has its own backcountry ski patrollers. And they’re busier than ever.

CAMERON PASS — The wind is swirling snow and shaking the aspens. It’s single-digit cold. “Such a harsh environment,” says Owen Richard, raising his voice in the gusts as he sticks skins to his skis for another lap in knee-deep powder. “And here we are having fun. So, so lucky.” Backcountry skiers on Cameron Pass […]

Posted inNews, Newsletters, Outdoors, Outsider

Two decades of local avalanche forecasts in Crested Butte have proved their worth

CRESTED BUTTE — A few days after the ski hill closed in March, Than Acuff went for a backcountry tour up the popular Schuylkill Ridge. “It was mind-blowing. Shoot-the-lock-off zero backcountry protocol. Total bedlam,” the longtime local journalist and executive director of the Crested Butte Avalanche Center said. “We were breaking trail and there was […]

Posted inBusiness, Crime and Courts, News, Outdoors

Wrongful death lawsuit targets Silverton Avalanche School, backcountry guide and airbag maker

 The family of a Longmont man killed in an avalanche safety class near Silverton is suing the guide, school and local rescue group as well as the maker of an avalanche airbag and its private equity firm owner. The lawsuit marks the second legal action involving avalanches in recent months based on research, interviews and […]

Posted inNews, Outdoors

Colorado plans to ramp up messaging after avalanches kill three experienced skiers in two days

Ethan Greene’s team at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center on Friday capped a week of warnings detailing an increasingly touchy snowpack with three dire social media blasts pointing to spiking avalanche danger across the state.  The story of a buried skier rescued by his friend on Berthoud Pass included an urgent plea to ski with […]