A 48-year-old man was killed Monday near Aspen in what was the second avalanche fatality of 2018/2019 ski season in Colorado and the eighth in the U.S.
Arin Trook of Aspen was caught in an unintentionally triggered slide that happened near the Markley Hut outside the town of Ashcroft. It broke 2 feet deep and 500 feet wide, and ran for about 600 feet, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center reported.
The man, who has not been identified, was staying with a group of backcountry skiers at the hut, which sits at 10,400 feet above sea level. It is associated with the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association and shelters hikers, corss country skiers and snowshoers.
CAIC issued a special advisory through Monday in the area, warning that backcountry travelers could easily trigger large, potentially deadly slides.
The death was the second avalanche fatality this season. Peter Marshall, 40, was killed Jan. 5 in an avalanche near Red Mountain Pass in the San Juan Mountains. Marshall was in an advanced avalanche safety class when he was buried and killed in a human-caused slide.
CAIC’s incident report showed Marshall and his group made a series a minor mistakes that led to the avalanche. Among others, his group’s descent was unsafely proximate to dangerous terrain and decided to ski spaced apart rather than one at a time, the report said.
“All of the fatal avalanche accidents we investigate are tragic events. We do our best to describe each one to help the people involved and the community as a whole better understand them,” CAIC wrote. “We offer these comments in the hope that it will help people avoid future avalanche accidents.”
Two people were killed in an in-bounds avalanche at Taos Ski Valley in northern New Mexico last week. Matthew Zonghetti, 26, of Massachusetts, was pronounced dead shortly after the avalanche. Corey Borg-Massanari, 22, of Vail died Monday.
Another backcountry skier was killed in Utah Friday. The three other fatalities in the U.S. this year were snowmobilers in Wyoming Jan. 9, Montana Jan. 5 and Wyoming Dec. 22.
This is the 10th skiing/snowboarding-related death of the season, with previous deaths including a recent death at Granby during night skiing, the death of a skier on Quandary Peak, the death of a 71-year-old at Breckenridge, a recent avalanche-related death, 21-year-old Daniel Giger (accident at Breckenridge), 26-year-old Bill Brockmuller (collision at Eldora), 53-year-old Daniel Mares of Arvada (cardiac event at Keystone Resort), 66-year-old Durwood Marshall of Silverthorne (cardiac event at Keystone Resort), and Bindu Sky Pomeroy (accident in Vail backcountry).
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