Telemark Skier Triggered Avalanche Near Berthoud Pass; CAIC Issues Avalanche Warning For Backcountry (PHOTOS)

01/03/2012 10:24 am ET | Updated Jan 03, 2012

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) has issued an avalanche warning for Colorado's backcountry after a telemark skier triggered a large avalanche near Berthoud Pass on Sunday.

9News reports that the skier, only identified as Matt from Fraser Valley, nearly died when his entire body, except for his head, was buried under snow from a 300 foot wide avalanche that pushed the skier 400 feet downward.


The CAIC made this statement on their website about the avalanche:

Added to the small triggered events from Friday was a much larger hard slab which was triggered by a skier on an east aspect at 11,800 feet near Berthoud Pass on Sunday afternoon. The rider was into about the 7th or 8th turn, maybe 100+ feet down slope from the ridge crest, when they triggered the slab near the riders left flank. They were unable to escape off the slab and took a 400 plus vertical foot ride. We are putting the investigation facts together and hope to have a full report together soon.

The CAIC has rated the avalanche danger in most of the state as "moderate" with some areas rated as "low." For individual CAIC ratings for various regions, click here.

CAIC spokesman, Scott Toepfer told 7News that the skier was rescued by a friend who was skiing with him on Sunday afternoon. It is still unclear if Matt was injured in the avalanche.


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