CAIC: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

2018/04/08 - Colorado - Maroon Bowl, west of Aspen Highlands

Published 2018/04/10 by Spencer Logan - Forecaster, CAIC

Avalanche Details

  • Location: Maroon Bowl, west of Aspen Highlands
  • State: Colorado
  • Date: 2018/04/08
  • Time: 12:00 AM
  • Summary Description: 2 sidecountry riders caught, partially buried, 1 killed
  • Primary Activity: Sidecountry Rider
  • Primary Travel Mode: Ski


  • Caught: 2
  • Fully Buried: 0
  • Injured: 0
  • Killed: 1


  • Type: SS
  • Trigger: AS - Skier
  • Trigger (subcode): r - A remote avalanche released by the indicated trigger
  • Size - Relative to Path: R2
  • Size - Destructive Force: D2
  • Sliding Surface: O - Within Old Snow


  • Slope Aspect: N
  • Site Elevation: 11375 ft
  • Slope Angle: 38 °
  • Slope Characteristic: Concave Slope

Accident Summary

PRELIMINARY: Two skiers exited Aspen Highlands Ski Resort through a backcountry access gate. They were using climbing skins to ascend through an area known as "Maroon Bowl." Both skiers were caught in an avalanche. One was killed.

The avalanche failed on a steep, concave slope above a rock outcrop; the debris ran to either side of the outcrop. The skier’s right lobe ran down an open slope with small trees at the bottom. The skier’s left lobe caught the riders ran down an open slope, and then over a rollover steeper than 40 degrees with scattered small and large trees below.