Fatality reported in out-of-bounds avalanche at Aspen Mountain | SummitDaily.com

Fatality reported in out-of-bounds avalanche at Aspen Mountain


Up to 30 inches of snowfall in the Aspen area has elevated the avalanche risk to “considerable,” according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

Forecaster Blase Reardon wrote on the center’s website Monday that conditions in the backcountry and on slopes near ski areas would be dangerous.

“Shooting cracks, whumpfing collapses and fresh avalanches are clear signs that it’s time to return home,” Reardon wrote. Skiers remotely triggered small avalanches on Richmond Ridge south of Aspen Mountain and on Mount Justice in the Marble area on Sunday, according to the center. No one was caught.

Backcountry adventurers were advised by the avalanche center to take a “cautious, watchful mindset.”

“Beware of slopes where new, recent and wind-drifted snow forms slabs that are cracking or collapsing as you weight them. Don’t let your guard down if you head back up for a second lap on a slope; with snowfall rates over an inch an hour, conditions can quickly become more dangerous between runs on the same slope,” the website said. “Look above and around you to see if the terrain you’re on is connected to steeper slopes that are being rapidly loaded.”

Detailed information can be found at http://avalanche.state.co.us.

The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that a person has died following an avalanche in an out-of-bounds area of Aspen Mountain.

The Sheriff’s Office reported via Twitter that it was investigating an Aspen Mountain out-of-bounds snow slide around 4 p.m. The Sheriff’s Office reported the fatality just after 5:30 p.m., adding that the victim’s identity would not be available tonight and that recovery plans are in place for tomorrow.

It is not yet known when the avalanche occurred or whether the victim is male or female.

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