CAIC: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

2020/05/02 - Colorado - Horn Peak, Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Published 2020/05/03 by Jason Konigsberg - Forecaster, CAIC

Avalanche Details

  • Location: Horn Peak, Sangre de Cristo Mountains
  • State: Colorado
  • Date: 2020/05/02
  • Time: 12:00 AM (Estimated)
  • Summary Description: 1 hiker caught, partially buried and injured
  • Primary Activity: Hiker
  • Primary Travel Mode: Foot


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


  • Type: WL
  • Trigger: AF - Foot penetration
  • Trigger (subcode): u - An unintentional release
  • Size - Relative to Path: R1
  • Size - Destructive Force: D2
  • Sliding Surface: O - Within Old Snow


  • Slope Aspect: SE
  • Site Elevation: 12400 ft
  • Slope Angle: 36 °
  • Slope Characteristic: Gully/Couloir

Accident Summary

A group of seven hikers were descending Horn Peak's northeast ridge. On the descent, the group left the ridge to glissade down a snow-filled gully. The first person to attempt the glissade triggered a wet avalanche while sliding down the slope. The avalanche carried the person approximately 1000 feet to the bottom of the gully. The person was partially buried with their head above the snow. The person suffered numerous injuries requiring a helicopter evacuation to the hospital for care. Custer County Search and Rescue, Fremont County Search and Rescue, El Paso County Search and Rescue, Flight for Life, and the Colorado Army National Guard assisted in the rescue.