Week in Summit: Blessing for future success | SummitDaily.com

Week in Summit: Blessing for future success

The Gabriel House recently purchased several children's snowsuits, thanks to a $1,000 donation by the Knights of Columbus.
Elise Reuter / ereuter@summitdaily.com |

Father Michael Glenn led the blessing of the Gabriel House on Sunday Nov. 22, in support of the new Summit nonprofit. The Gabriel House, which opened in Frisco on Sept. 28, welcomes parents from across the mountain area to provide much-needed child care resources.

“The desire of everyone here is to see children taken care of,” Glenn said. “It’s a grace to be there for new moms and encourage them.”

The Gabriel House in Frisco is the first of the groups’ nine locations that will serve the mountain corridor. The Gabriel House is sponsored by Catholic Charities of Denver. The aim is to provide women with the basic supplies for childcare, like clothing, diapers and formula. Members of both Our Lady of Peace in Silverthorne and St. Mary’s Church in Breckenridge help staff the house with volunteers.

Mimi Eckstein, executive director of the Gabriel House Project, said the group serves single parents, local families and the immigrant population. The new location came to life after community leaders approached Catholic Charities to help finance the property and train volunteers.

“The planners came to us and said we don’t have these kinds of services or enough of them,” Eckstein said. “We discussed the need. We’re looking to really support the community, and provide for families with young children.”

Eckstein noted the group works with other area nonprofits, such as Family and Intercultural Resource Center, when their services don’t address needs.

“It’s wonderful of Catholic Charities to help us,” Glenn added. “We certainly saw a need in the county for it.”

He Said She Said

Breckenridge police had to chase down a supposed female domestic abuser, who might have eluded officers if a snow pile hadn’t blocked her path.

The apparent battered boyfriend was discovered at about 1:30 a.m. at La Cima Mall after police were dispatched to the area over a reported conflict. The man involved in the domestic dispute, who had placed the call to the authorities, was found with a sleeve ripped from the sweatshirt he was wearing. The female, who was still at the scene when police began talking to her boyfriend, walked away as police were conducting an interview with the male subject.

The man told police the woman was his “ex-girlfriend” who he wanted to avoid contact with, so he though it best to call the police. He reported being hit in the neck, in addition to his compromised clothing, but police could not confirm the claim with physical evidence.

During their conversation, the woman appeared on a nearby balcony, repeatedly asking the man to leave, while police requested she walk downstairs so they could get her version of events. Apparently the woman had a tale that didn’t want to be told, as she opted to dash across the parking lot, perhaps feeling confident in out running officers.

After making a quick detour into an alley, the woman was confronted with a giant mound of snow impeding her path. Despite a mad dash up the snow pile, police caught up and ordered the woman to descend.

Initially the woman told police she simply did not hear them yelling as she ran away, but quickly admitted being afraid, despite claiming to not have committed any offenses.

The man, who declined to press charges, said he did not feel any pain when he was supposedly punched in the neck and at no time felt threatened.

Avalanche season begins

On Saturday Nov. 21, Summit County rescuers managed to pull a man to safety after he was partially buried in an avalanche. This was only one of three reported slides over that weekend. It was the first of the winter season in Summit County.

Summit County Rescue Group (SCRG) was contacted by a man, who was skiing in the backcountry, and reported injuries, around 2 p.m. on Saturday. Rescuers searched an open meadow on the west side of Baldy Mountain where the man claimed to be injured but saw no sign of the caller.

“When we arrived, we interviewed everybody,” mission coordinator Brian Binge said. “We searched around; finally got one person in the ridgeline, and he was able to see the avalanche.”

It was at that point the man, who was buried from the waist down, was spotted. He was located on Bald Mountain’s steeper, more avalanche-prone east side. The northeast facing slope, with its 38 degree slope, and a fresh round of powder the day prior, provided the needed trigger to start a slide.

“He was basically in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Binge added.

While a rescuer skied to the man’s location, a Flight For Life helicopter made a precarious landing in strong winds on a nearby grassy knoll. Other rescuers were cautioned against reaching the man’s location due to the continued avalanche threat. The man, who was extricated from his snowy encasement at about 4:30 p.m. with multiple non life-threating injuries, was flown to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center and treated that evening.

“When I interviewed him in the hospital, he said he tumbled down head over heels and had never been fully buried,” he said. “The first thing he said when we visited him in the hospital was that he was lucky to be alive and grateful we were able to come and get him.”

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