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

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 […]

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 […]

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Colorado snowboarders charged in backcountry avalanche settle criminal case, won’t have to pay $168,000 in restitution

Backcountry snowboarders Evan Hannibal and Tyler Dewitt will not have to pay $168,000 for damage that resulted when an avalanche they reported buried a service road above Interstate 70 in March 2020.  The two also were facing misdemeanor charges related to the March 25 slide that damaged avalanche mitigation devices above the west portal of […]

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 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 Wildsnow.com and work at Cripple Creek Backcountry shop in Vail.  On Monday, the 37-year-old mountaineer died in […]

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 […]