Top 5 stories on SummitDaily.com, week of March 10 | SummitDaily.com

Top 5 stories on SummitDaily.com, week of March 10

The Conundrum Valley avalanche near Aspen on March 12. The avalanche was described as “as big of an avalanche as this terrain can produce.”
Anna Stonehouse / The Aspen Times

Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on SummitDaily.com for the past week.

1. Skier death at Copper Mountain Ski Resort

A 63-year-old male skier was found unconscious in the trees on the edge of a ski run at Copper Mountain Resort on March 13. The victim was transported to St. Anthony Copper Medical Clinic, where he was later pronounced dead.

2. ‘A hell of a ride’: Skiers recount riding out inbounds avalanche at Breckenridge Ski Resort

Ryan Zabik and George Micah Woods talk about what it was like to survive the inbounds avalanche at Breckenridge Ski Resort that happened on March 8, describing it as “a whole lot of adrenaline, a life-threatening situation.” The duo from Michigan was here on their annual ski trip with family and friends. The avalanche happened while they were traversing from the top of the Imperial Express SuperChair to their desired above-tree line ski terrain destination: Whale’s Tail.

“I started tumbling immediately,” Woods recalled of the avalanche. “As soon as I started sliding, the snow fell over me. I let go of everything and rolled down the hill with my arms flailing about. I knew I was in no control of where I was going. … My eyes were closed and I was just along for the ride.”

Once it stopped, both Zabik and Woods had somehow managed to float back up to the top of the slide, both of them in a seated position with snow up to their waists.

“Everyone involved was very good,” Zabik said. “Most people have just been completely dumbstruck it happened.”

3. ‘Historic-size’ avalanche hits Conundrum Valley southwest of Aspen

An avalanche off of Highlands Ridge in Aspen deposited tons of snow in Conundrum Creek Valley and was described as “as big of an avalanche as this terrain can produce,” according to Brian Lazar, deputy director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. The avalanche broke over a mile wide and ran more than 3,000 vertical feet downhill, CAIC estimated from aerial observations. A house at the end of Conundrum Creek Road sustained damage from the slide but was spared from obliteration by an avalanche retaining wall built in the shape of a protective wedge. But the avalanche decimated the trailhead for the Conundrum Valley Trail, a popular route to Conundrum Hot Springs.

4. ‘Roof avalanches’ lead to one death, multiple injuries in Crested Butte

Two separate accidents in Crested Butte left one man dead and two injured after they were buried by “roof avalanches.” The first incident buried a property manager for about two hours while he was shoveling snow off of the sidewalk underneath the roof. Alex Theaker, 28, was found unconscious and hypothermic but had a “basketball-size” airspace near his face, created by a bent arm. He was transported to a hospital and released the following day. In a second incident over the weekend, two men were clearing snow from the roof of a commercial building when the snow avalanched, burying both in the slide. The CAIC report states no one witnessed the slide, but about 10 minutes later someone discovered the avalanche, called 911, and began digging. Blair Tulliver Burton, 37, was dug out and taken to a local hospital. Stephan Michael Martel, 25, was pronounced dead after arriving to the hospital.

5. Arapahoe Basin Ski Area closes early due to ‘deteriorating conditions’ along highway

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area announced last week it would close early on Wednesday due to deteriorating snow and avalanche conditions along Highway 6 that accompanied a strong winter storm. Earlier that same day , A-Basin closed its Montezuma Bowl terrain and Beavers terrain due to the weather. A-Basin’s early closure came less than a week after stormy weather and unsafe avalanche conditions resulted in the ski area voluntarily closing its lifts for two days.

Social Calls

Social Calls are comments taken from the Summit Daily’s website and Facebook page.

“First to ski it, names it.” — Chris Logan on “Silent Bob? Ironing Board? Locals look to give Peak 1’s new avalanche path a name”

“The mayor of pow town is calling it the Black Thursday Chute, because almost all of Colorado was black on CAIC” — Cam Kalkman on “Silent Bob? Ironing Board? Locals look to give Peak 1’s new avalanche path a name”

“Naming the shoot would be a great fundraising idea for something like Search and Rescue. The guys that have to deal with the recovery efforts these things often bring about.” — Linda Gilmer Polhemus on “Silent Bob? Ironing Board? Locals look to give Peak 1’s new avalanche path a name”

“I’d call it “Jagger”, cause it looks like a tongue.” — Ruth Heimburger on “Silent Bob? Ironing Board? Locals look to give Peak 1’s new avalanche path a name”

“It HAS to be Silent Bob, it’s just too perfect.” — Alexander Lloyd Zeno Mack on “Silent Bob? Ironing Board? Locals look to give Peak 1’s new avalanche path a name”

“I approve The Wall being built, with zero funding. Easy.” — John Westcott on “President Trump defunds Land and Water Conservation Fund by 95 percent despite approving permanent reauthorization”

“We rode Montezuma with her 3 or 4 years ago. She was still out there shredding. Her life advice to my husband and I, ‘never stop skiing.’” — G. Roxanne Bybee on “Keystone Resort mourns the loss of Ina Gillis, a pioneer and legend who died at 94”

“There are very few like her left in this county.” — Cindi Villard on “Keystone Resort mourns the loss of Ina Gillis, a pioneer and legend who died at 94”

“My husband and I got married at the base of Keystone Mtn. 10 years ago in early June. They didn’t promise flowers would be out but Ina knew how special it was for me so she made sure we had the flowers out the day of our wedding. Thank you Ina! May you rest in peace.” — Emily Kiger Jacobs on “Keystone Resort mourns the loss of Ina Gillis, a pioneer and legend who died at 94”

“RIP Ina… you always made me smile with all of your stories. Keystone River Run will not be the same without you” — Cindi Harless on “Keystone Resort mourns the loss of Ina Gillis, a pioneer and legend who died at 94”

“This is why I take the phones away while hosting underage parties. Can never be too safe.” — Joe Fliss on “Cops: Aspen parents face felony charges after giving coke to minor, alcohol to others”

“I love when Nature tries to take her spaces back. Hopefully Conundrum Hot Springs can get a break to recover from humans and their trash for a while.” — Erica Ruch on “‘Historic-sized’ avalanche hits Conundrum Valley southwest of Aspen”


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