Crested Butte is used to piles of snow.
However, more than 50 inches in just 7 days is a lot of even by Crested Butte standards.
On Sunday, all the snow claimed a life.
25 year-old Stephan Martel was killed while shoving snow from the roof of Tully’s Restaurant. Snow slid off of the roof and onto Martel, burying him.
“It’s absolutely devastating. You never think at 25 years-old that anything like that could happen,” said Martel’s mother, Michelle Martel.
Stephan Martel’s boss, 37 year-old Tully Burton, was also buried by the falling snow. However, Burton was able to yell for help and he survived, pulled from the snow about 20 to 30 minutes after he became trapped.
Stephan Martel moved to Crested Butte about two years ago from Arizona and started waiting tables at Tully’s.
Montana Wiggins met Martel at the restaurant and become one of his many friends in town.
“I don’t now how to explain it, but I didn’t expect this. No one did and no one can,” said Wiggins. “He was so happy to be living in the mountains and be living here. He was in a happy place, a good place with good people,” he said.
Martel’s mother says her son loved the outdoors, his job, and the Crested Butte community.
“He was absolutely the best person you could imagine. He loved everybody. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He was just a very kind soul,” she said.
Another man was also buried by a roof avalanche in Crested Butte on Friday night. 28 year-old Alex Theaker was shoving a sidewalk when snow from a roof came crashing onto him. He was found unconscious and hypothermic, but rescuers say he had a basketball sized airspace near his face that likely saved his life.