Top 5 most-read stories last week: Avalanche death, Copper Mountain improvements, business changes and more |

Top 5 most-read stories last week: Avalanche death, Copper Mountain improvements, business changes and more

Colorado Avalanche Information Center/Courtesy photo
The avalanche that killed a Littleton man Saturday, April 29, 2023, started in a shallow crown visible in the upper right corner of this photo, then entrained wet snow as it ran down the mountain, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. This image shows how the gully feature concentrated the debris in the runout zone.
Colorado Avalanche Information Center/Courtesy photo

Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on from April 30 to May 6.

1. 31-year-old man dies in avalanche on Bald Mountain near Breckenridge

A 31-year-old man was killed in an avalanche on Bald Mountain on Saturday, April 29, according to initial reports from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center and the Summit County Rescue Group. 

The man’s name and hometown were not originally released. The county coroner eventually revealed the man to be Benjamin Ryan of Littleton.

In a statement, the rescue group said it was first notified Saturday afternoon by the man’s girlfriend that he was missing. The rescue group was told that the man had left that morning to ski a northeast-facing couloir on Bald Mountain — known locally as “Baldy” — southeast of Breckenridge. His girlfriend said he was not answering calls by the time he was expected to be back at his car, according to the rescue group’s statement. 

Robert Tann

2. Copper Mountain Resort announces single largest investment in a decade with new lodge, biking trails, ski run improvements and more on the way

Even though the 2022-23 ski and ride season is coming to a close at Copper Mountain Resort on Sunday, May 7, guests have plenty to look forward to next winter at the resort.

On Thursday, May 4, Copper gave guests a taste of what is to be expected next season by announcing several new upgrades. According to the resort, the combination of these upgrades make for the single largest investment by the resort in more than a decade.

Projects are taking place both on and off the mountain, with the largest being the opening of the new mid-mountain lodge — the Aerie. Located at the top of the American Eagle lift, the Aerie will consist of a 25,000-square-foot, two-story building, and the gondola will unload on the second-floor deck, which will allow for a seamless transition for all guests, including those arriving by foot.

Cody Jones

3. Video shows snowboarder caught in avalanche on Quandary Peak

A snowboarder who became caught in a small avalanche on Quandary Peak on Saturday was not seriously injured, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, but the recreationist captured footage of the slide on video.

Around 11:30 a.m., the snowboarder triggered the small wet slide in the Quandary Couloir on the northernmost aspect of the mountain at about 12,500 feet, according to a Colorado Avalanche Information Center field report.

“Although quite scary because of the potential for injury taking a ride that long, fortunately for us it was a good outcome,” Colorado Avalanche Information Center director Ethan Greene said.

Ryan Spencer

4. Big businesses have struggled and closed in Silverthorne and Dillon recently, but small businesses have been multiplying

As the towns of Silverthorne and Dillon forge ahead on efforts to boost economic growth, reshape their downtown cores and add new housing, some notable businesses have receded in recent years. 

Despite the closures of several corporate storefronts, smaller businesses are taking hold in the area, and both towns continue to report growing revenue from sales tax

In 2022, Silverthone brought in $17.3 million in sales tax revenue, a nearly 12% increase from 2021. Dillon reaped in nearly $10 million, a more than 9% increase from 2021, according to both town’s finance departments. 

Robert Tann

5. Backcountry skier killed in Bald Mountain avalanche identified as Littleton resident

The Summit County Coroner’s Office has identified the man killed in an avalanche on Bald Mountain on Saturday, April 29, as a resident of Littleton.

Benjamin Ryan, 31, died in the slide while skiing solo in a backcountry area near Breckenridge, according to Coroner Amber Flenniken. Summit County Rescue Group helped recover his body from the east side of the mountain in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The fatality at Bald Mountain marks the 11th avalanche death in Colorado this ski season, which saw a deadly early winter as both natural and human-caused slides reached record levels. Also in Summit County this season, 22-year-old Nicholas Feinstein died in an avalanche while skiing with his father in the backcountry of Peak 10 near Breckenridge.

Ryan Spencer

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