It happened around 12 p.m. near the west side of Loveland Pass. The SCRG said a mother and son on skis tried to retrieve a piece of rappel gear they left behind the day before when they rappelled to a ski chute known as “Butt Crack.”
The son traversed toward the top of the chute and cut across a steep slope below the ridge, and that’s when the avalanche was triggered, the rescue group said.
The rescue group said the victim took an estimated 200-to-300 foot ride in avalanche debris, which included an estimated 50-foot drop off a cliff.
The mother did not get caught in the avalanche and was able to reach her son in about 10 minutes, according to the rescue group. When the mother found her son, he was buried up to his waist in the snow with only minor injuries.
Several rescue groups, including the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, a Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment team, Arapahoe Basin Ski Patrol, and Flight For Life Colorado all responded to the avalanche. The SCRG said no services were needed, though, and the skiers were able to ski out on their own.
According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, more than 75% of avalanche deaths in the state are caused by people exploring and recreating in the backcountry. The CAIC receives approximately 2,300 reports of avalanches every season.
Check the avalanche forecast before heading into the backcountry.