Memorial set for avalanche victim |

Memorial set for avalanche victim

SUMMIT COUNTY – Memorial services will be held at 4 p.m. today for Kenneth Carl “K.C.” Ratcliff of Montezuma, who died in an avalanche March 20.

A celebration of his life will be held at the Arapahoe Basin lodge until sunset, at which point friends and family will gather at the Snake River Saloon in Keystone. The family asks people to bring stories for compilation in a journal of his life.

Ratcliff, 30, was skiing with three others near the Rock Pile, an area off U.S. Highway 6 and west of Loveland Pass. The skiers traversed an area close to the lower runaway truck ramp. The skiers were aware of the potential avalanche danger, sheriff’s office reports indicated, so they were skiing down the hill in two-minute intervals. Ratcliff was the third skier to descend when the snow gave way.

Ratcliff was born Dec. 27, 1972 to Kelly and Ken Ratcliff of Denver. He attended Cherry Creek High School and served in the Navy until moving to Summit County in 1994. During the years since, he’s worked as a lift operator at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and at Virgin Island Ski Rental in Silverthorne.

Friends say Ratcliff loved music, backcountry telemarking, hiking and surfing.

“He died doing what he loved most in his favorite place,” said Beth Ann Krehbiel, a friend of Ratcliff’s. “We’re going to miss him forever.”

Ratcliff is survived by his mother, Kelly, of Palm Springs, Calif.; father Ken of Tucson, Ariz.; sister Ateeka of Florence, Italy; and paternal grandparents of Tucson.

Ratcliff was the fifth person to die in an avalanche in Colorado this season.

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