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 inNews, Outdoors

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

Avalanche investigators testifying in criminal case could have “chilling effect,” warns Colorado AG

Evan Hannibal happily handed over his helmet video of the avalanche that triggered below his snowboard and buried a service road above Interstate 70 last March.  He hoped the Colorado Avalanche Information Center would use the video and his first-person account to help educate other skiers and snowboarders. Maybe the lessons he learned from his […]

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 inCrime and Courts, News, Outdoors

Snowboarders facing criminal charges for avalanche above I-70 lose a critical battle in court

Two snowboarders have lost a critical legal battle in the criminal charges they face related to an avalanche that buried a service road above Interstate 70 in March.  A Summit County Court judge delivered a setback to their defense on Tuesday when he dismissed a motion to suppress a GoPro video of the avalanche that […]

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, Outsider

New Colorado avalanche study reveals troubling trend heading into busy backcountry season

Studying avalanche trends is tricky. Detailed statistics tend to focus only on avalanches involving fatalities. No one knows how many skiers and snowmobilers head into the snowy backcountry every season, so it’s impossible to know the rates of accidents. Avalanche researchers rely on voluntarily provided information, and the data sets are small. But that doesn’t […]