Identity, cause of death released for Red Peak avalanche victim
Aaron Wiener, 30, of Denver killed in slide
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Aaron Wiener’s name
DILLON — Aaron Wiener, 30, of Denver has been identified as the man who was killed in an avalanche Wednesday on Red Peak north of Silverthorne, according to Summit County Coroner Regan Wood.
Wood said Wiener died from multiple blunt-force trauma injuries suffered in the slide.
According to the Summit County Rescue Group, Wiener was skiing Wednesday afternoon on Red Peak in the Gore Range north of Silverthorne before a skier-triggered avalanche carried him about 1,800 feet down the mountain, leading to his fatal injuries. The other two men in the group avoided the slide.
The group of three skiers ascended the mountain from the southeast side and spent a short time on the summit before making their way back down, according to the rescue group. The skiers were on the upper portion of their planned path, a couloir known as Oh What Big Eyes You Have on the north side of the mountain, when a shallow avalanche broke near the most uphill skier.
The rescue group was alerted to the situation after the activation of a personal emergency beacon. Volunteers recovered Wiener’s body Friday after deciding not to mount a recovery mission Wednesday or Thursday due to weather constraints and heightened avalanche risk.
According to the rescue group, neither of the other two skiers suffered notable injuries and all of the skiers were experienced and well-versed in backcountry recreation. They also were carrying proper backcountry gear — such as avalanche beacons, shovels and probe poles — and one of the men had skied the route on previous occasions.
There have been at least 11 accidental human-caused avalanches around the state since April 8, according to Friends of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. As of Saturday morning, the current avalanche danger in the northern mountains, which includes the Vail and Summit County region, is moderate. It was rated moderate Wednesday before being upgraded to considerable Wednesday night when a spring snowstorm rolled into the area. The center publishes updated forecasts by 4:30 p.m. daily for the next two days.
On Thursday, Avalanche Information Center Director Ethan Greene said that over the past week the center had been seeing storm-snow instability, including wind drifting, something Greene said could have been a contributing factor to the slide on Red Peak.
Wiener’s death was the first avalanche fatality in the county since April 2018.
Sawyer D’Argonne contributed to this report.
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