CAIC: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

2020/03/24 - Colorado - The Banker, East Waterfall Canyon, near Ophir Colorado

Published 2020/03/24 by Mike Cooperstein - Forecaster, CAIC

Avalanche Details

  • Location: The Banker, East Waterfall Canyon, near Ophir Colorado
  • State: Colorado
  • Date: 2020/03/24
  • Time: 1:30 PM
  • Summary Description: 1 snowboarder caught, partially buried, and injured
  • Primary Activity: Backcountry Tourer
  • Primary Travel Mode: Snowboard


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


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


  • Slope Aspect: NW
  • Site Elevation: 11500 ft
  • Slope Angle: 37 °
  • Slope Characteristic: Planar Slope,Sparse Trees

Accident Summary

PRELIMINARY: A snowboarder was caught carried and seriously injured in an avalanche in East Waterfall Canyon near the town of Ophir on March 24. Search and rescue personnel responded to the scene and the victim was evacuated by helicopter. The avalanche occurred on a north west-facing slope around 11,500 feet. The avalanche was about 150 feet wide. It broke in the old snow layers about two feet deep. CAIC forecasters will complete a more detailed investigation in the coming days.