Avalanche Injures 2 People

Two Skiers and Dog Caught and Injured by Avalanche in Gore Range

DENVER, COLORADO — A serene day on the slopes turned perilous for two skiers and their loyal canine companion when they were caught in an avalanche in Pitkin Creek on Friday, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) reports. The incident, occurring in a west-facing chute around noon, has added to the growing number of avalanche-related casualties this season, with the count now standing at eight injuries and two fatalities across Colorado.

The skiers, whose identities have not been disclosed, sustained serious injuries. Miraculously, the dog involved was partially buried but survived the ordeal. The swift response from emergency services ensured the victims received immediate care, though the extent of their injuries remains under wraps.

This season’s snow conditions have heightened avalanche risks in many of Colorado’s popular skiing destinations. The CAIC has been actively issuing warnings and advocating for heightened awareness among winter sports enthusiasts.

Safety Tips for Backcountry Skiers

In light of this incident, it’s crucial for backcountry skiers and snowboarders to heed the following safety tips to mitigate the risk of avalanches:

  • Stay Informed: Always check the avalanche forecast through reliable sources like the CAIC before heading out.
  • Equip Properly: Carry essential avalanche safety gear, including a beacon, probe, and shovel, and know how to use them.
  • Travel Wisely: Avoid steep slopes and areas under recent avalanche activity. Stick to safer routes when conditions are uncertain.
  • Learn and Practice: Enroll in avalanche safety courses to understand snow conditions and learn rescue techniques.
  • Never Go Alone: Always ski with a partner and keep each other in sight. Ensure everyone in the group knows how to react in case of an avalanche.
  • Understand Dog Safety: If bringing pets, understand their limitations and ensure they are trained to respond to commands in stressful situations.

 

The incident at Pitkin Creek serves as a somber reminder of the unpredictable nature of avalanches. By adhering to safety protocols and staying informed, skiers and snowboarders can significantly reduce their risk of being caught in such life-threatening situations.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

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