CAIC: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

2021/12/24 - Colorado - Diamond Peaks, Cameron Pass

Published 2021/12/28 by Mike Cooperstein - Forecaster, CAIC


Avalanche Details

  • Location: Diamond Peaks, Cameron Pass
  • State: Colorado
  • Date: 2021/12/24
  • Time: 12:00 AM (Estimated)
  • Summary Description: 1 backcountry skier caught, fully buried, and killed
  • Primary Activity: Backcountry Tourer
  • Primary Travel Mode: Ski

Number

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

Avalanche

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

Site

  • Slope Aspect: E
  • Site Elevation: 10500 ft
  • Slope Angle: 38 °
  • Slope Characteristic: Convex Slope

Accident Summary

Preliminary: A backcountry skier was caught, fully buried, and killed in an avalanche on December 24. The accident happened on a east-facing slope below treeline on the southeast end of South Diamond Peak near Cameron Pass in the Front Range zone. The avalanche broke on a layer of faceted snow one to three feet below the snow surface, and was about 150 feet wide. The avalanche crown was on a convex roll where the slope angle steepened to about 38 degrees.

The victim's partner was able to locate him with a transceiver and probe pole and extricate him from the snow, but he did not survive. Search and Rescue personnel from Jackson County and the Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol recovered the victim's body after dark. CAIC forecasters will visit the accident site on Saturday. We will update this report as more information becomes available. 

Our deepest condolences go out to the friends and family and everyone affected by this tragic accident.

Media

Images