CAIC: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

2020/01/18 - Colorado - Uncompahgre Gorge, South of Ouray Colorado

Published 2020/01/23 by Mike Cooperstein - Forecaster, CAIC

Avalanche Details

  • Location: Uncompahgre Gorge, South of Ouray Colorado
  • State: Colorado
  • Date: 2020/01/18
  • Time: 12:00 AM (Estimated)
  • Summary Description: 1 climber struck by ice fall, buried and killed
  • Primary Activity: Climber
  • Primary Travel Mode: Foot


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


  • Type: L
  • Trigger: N - Natural
  • Trigger (subcode): u - An unintentional release
  • Size - Relative to Path: R1
  • Size - Destructive Force: --
  • Sliding Surface: --


  • Slope Aspect: SE
  • Site Elevation: 8900 ft
  • Slope Angle: --
  • Slope Characteristic: --

Accident Summary

An ice climber was killed in the Uncompahgre Gorge south of Ouray Colorado on January 18, 2020 when a falling block of ice triggered a small avalanche. The victim was hit by the ice and snow, and fell into the gorge. She came to rest in the creek where she was fully buried in the debris. The victim was not climbing at the time of the accident. She was untethered. Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends, and everyone affected by this accident.