CAIC: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

2018/02/11 - Colorado - The Fingers, Berthoud Pass

Published 2018/02/12 by Ryan Zarter - Forecaster, CAIC

Avalanche Details

  • Location: The Fingers, Berthoud Pass
  • State: Colorado
  • Date: 2018/02/11
  • Time: Unknown
  • Summary Description: 1 skier caught, carried, and injured
  • Primary Activity: Backcountry Tourer
  • Primary Travel Mode: Ski


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


  • 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


  • Slope Aspect: NW
  • Site Elevation: --
  • Slope Angle: --
  • Slope Characteristic: Convex Slope

Accident Summary

A solo skier unintentionally triggered and was carried in an avalanche in the area locally known as the Fingers just west of the summit of Berthoud Pass.  The avalanche was a soft slab avalanche and occurred on a northwest aspect near treeline.  It was small relative to the path, but large enough to bury, injure, or kill a person.  It ran within the old snow (SS-ASu-R2-D2-O).  The skier was solo at the time of the accident, but had been skiing with a group on the pass during the day.  The skier entered into the farthest north of the fingers and made a cut across the top of the gully.  He did not like what he saw, so he traversed across and into the next gully to the south.  Upon entering this gully he triggered the avalanche and was carried to the bottom of the path.  He lost his equipment during the avalanche.  When he came to rest he was face down with his arm in front of his face. He was able to self-extricate and then was assisted to the road by a bystander who was skiing in the area.