A very large avalanche triggered with explosives in the San Juan Mountains near Silverton.

Resources for Avalanche-Related Grief and Trauma

Our deepest condolences go out to all the families and friends of people involved in avalanche fatalities and accidents. Below is a list of resources to help support you with the initial and future stages of grief.  


Grief is the emotion you experience due to the loss of a friend or loved one. You may feel many difficult and unexpected emotions: denial, shock, anger, disbelief, guilt, and deep sadness. Loss happening in a mountain setting can cause multiple complex levels of impact.

First 24-hours

  • Who is a trusted friend or family member to look out for you and help create a safe, structured plan? 
  • What do you need to take care of basic comfort and emotional needs? 
  • What do you crave right now, and do you have any additional stressors?

Immediate help

  • Colorado Crisis Services -  1-844-493-8255 - Text “TALK” to 38255
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline / Samaritans -  (text or call)- 988
  • Red Cross of Colorado - 1-800-417-0495 (24-hour helpline)

Your local sheriff's office victims advocate group can provide immediate support after an incident. 


Therapy can be a useful part of the healing process. The resources below aren’t exhaustive but are organizations that focus on loss through mountain-related adventure sports. If you already have a relationship with a therapist, that is a great place to start. 

  • Big Heart Big Hands - bigheartbighands.comSupports counseling for those impacted by wilderness rescue.
  • Survivors of Outdoor Adventures and Recovery (S.O.A.R) - soar4life.org - Provides information and resources for people navigating grief and trauma involving adventure accidents. Offer regular peer support groups for many sports. 
  • American Avalanche Association (AAA) - americanavalancheassociation.org/resilience-project - The American Avalanche Association’s Resilience Project seeks to provide support and resources for those impacted by mental health challenges associated with avalanches. 
  • American Alpine Club - americanalpineclub.org/grieffund - Connects individuals to mental health professionals with a background in mountain sports. There are also funds available to support treatment.
  • Responder Alliance - responderalliance.com - Builds individual and team resiliency in the face of traumatic stress.