Report: Communication challenges in ‘terrain trap’ contributed to deaths of 3 skiers in Colorado avalanche | SummitDaily.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Report: Communication challenges in ‘terrain trap’ contributed to deaths of 3 skiers in Colorado avalanche

Jason Blevins
The Colorado Sun
The San Juan County Search and Rescue team that recovered the skiers included a county commissioner, a town councilman, business owners, local avalanche experts and other residents of Silverton.
Photo from San Juan County Search and Rescue

DENVER — Communication challenges in a large group and a “terrain trap” were contributing factors in the deadliest avalanche in the state since 2013, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s report on the massive slide that killed three men near Ophir Pass in the San Juans on Feb. 1.

A skier who was buried but survived the avalanche on South Lookout Peak near Silverton that killed three of his friends described the torrent of snow that engulfed him like “a river.”

“I was fully under snow for approximately 15 to 25 seconds,” the unnamed skier told investigators with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, which issued its final report on the deadly avalanche Sunday.



The report described the challenge of moving a large group — this one was seven skiers — through avalanche terrain as well as how “small communication errors and misunderstandings can be amplified in large groups.”

Read more at ColoradoSun.com.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported news organization dedicated to covering the people, places and policies that matter in Colorado. Read more, sign up for free newsletters and subscribe at ColoradoSun.com.


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.