The snowfall in the west over the past two weeks has been remarkable. Mountains across the west have been shut down because of too much snow. The avalanche danger has likewise skyrocketed.
Yesterday a skier outside of Silverton, Colorado in San Juan County was rescued from an avalanche that swept him down the mountain, over a cliff and onto highway U.S. 550 where he was ultimately buried. He had been skiing in a popular area above the highway. Fortunately his partner was not caught in the slide and was able to initiate a beacon search. He was even more fortunate when Mike Barney a heli-ski guide and avalanche professional happened to arrive on scene while coincidentally traveling from Durango to Silverton. Barney assisted with the rescue and the skier was recovered within eight minutes of burial. He was reportedly using an Avalung at the time. He was lucky to suffer no injuries in the incident.
The epic snowfall has made for some incredible riding. It has also exponentially increased the avalanche risk. Please check your local avalanche forecast before heading out into backcountry terrain. Carry the proper gear and bring a partner. Make good choices and stay safe to ski again another day.
Here’s a link to the Northwest Avalanche Center:
Here’s a link to the story: