CAIC: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

2014/03/05 - Colorado - Sharkstooth Peak, La Plata Mountains

Published 2014/03/07 by Brian Lazar - Forecast Staff, Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Avalanche Details

  • Location: Sharkstooth Peak, La Plata Mountains
  • State: Colorado
  • Date: 2014/03/05
  • Time: 12:00 AM
  • Summary Description: 1 snowmobiler fully buried - missing and presumed dead
  • Primary Activity: Snowmobiler
  • Primary Travel Mode: Snowmobile


  • Caught: 0
  • Fully Buried: 1
  • Injured: 0
  • Killed: 1


  • Type: U
  • Trigger: AM - Snowmobile
  • Trigger (subcode): u - An unintentional release
  • Size - Relative to Path: R2
  • Size - Destructive Force: D2
  • Sliding Surface: O - Within Old Snow


  • Slope Aspect: --
  • Site Elevation: 11000 ft
  • Slope Angle: --
  • Slope Characteristic: --

Accident Summary

PRELIMINARY REPORT: A group of 5 snowmobilers were in the Bear Creek drainage near Sharktooths Peak on Wednesday March 5, 2014. One member of the group was caught in the avalanche. Members of the group located the victim's helmet and snowmobile in the debris and search and rescue teams used avalanche dogs to search the debris. Search and rescue efforts continued on March 6th, but were unable to locate the victim. The nature and extent of future search and rescue efforts are unclear based on the weather forecast, avalanche hazard, and remote and rough nature of the area. The victim has not been located, but is presumed dead due to the nature of the avalanche and the location of his snow machine. 

We will compile a report on the accident and publish more details as they become available.