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Two Skiers Killed Near Crested Butte
On February 16, two skiers we caught and killed in an avalanche in Brush Creek, near Crested Butte. You can read the preliminary report here. Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the people involved in this tragic accident.
February Avalanche Accident Trends
Over the last 10 years, February is the single most dangerous month for avalanches in Colorado. Over a quarter of the fatal avalanche accidents happened during this month. In the past decade, there have been 15 fatal avalanche accidents in the month of February. Eight of those accidents occurred in the middle of the month, and 4 between Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day. Historically, this weekend has been a dangerous period for avalanche accidents. We would like to break the pattern.
Close calls in January: how does that compare to other years?
As of January 31, we have documented 57 people caught in 42 separate avalanche events. Seven of the people have been critically (head under the snow) or fully buried, and two have died. 60% of the involvements this season occurred in January alone, including both fatalities. The 56 cumulative involvements this year are far more than we recorded for all of 2017-18, 2015-16, and 2014-15. If we project similar rates to the end of the season, 2018-19 will be by far the most people involved in avalanche that we have recorded. This blog post has more details and analysis.