CAIC: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

2019/01/05 - Colorado - Upper Senator Beck Basin, northwest of Red Mountain Pass

Published 2019/01/07 by Spencer Logan - Forecaster, CAIC

Avalanche Details

  • Location: Upper Senator Beck Basin, northwest of Red Mountain Pass
  • State: Colorado
  • Date: 2019/01/05
  • Time: 12:00 AM (Estimated)
  • Summary Description: 6 backcountry skiers caught, 1 buried and killed
  • Primary Activity: Backcountry Tourer
  • Primary Travel Mode: Ski


  • Caught: 5
  • Fully Buried: 0
  • Injured: 0
  • Killed: 1


  • Type: HS
  • 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: S
  • Site Elevation: 13000 ft
  • Slope Angle: --
  • Slope Characteristic: Planar Slope

Accident Summary

PRELIMINARY REPORT: A group of backcountry skiers participating in an avalanche safety course triggered an avalanche on the afternoon of January 5. All six members of the group were caught in the avalanche. The avalanche released a second avalanche sympathetically. The second avalanche ran over the debris pile of the first slide. One member of the group was buried in the debris of the two avalanches. The rest of the group located him and extricated him from under at least 2.5 m of snow. They tried to revive him on site, but were unsuccessful. The rest of the group made their way to US 550 with the help of San Juan County Search and Rescue, Ouray Mountain Rescue,  La Plata County Search and Rescue, Careflight, and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.