Solo skier causes avalanche that hits 2 visitors in Rocky Mountain National Park

Here’s a look at where the avalanche occurred. Dead Elk (left) and Dragontail Couloir (right). Photo Credit: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Avalanche season isn’t over yet in Colorado, as displayed by several avalanches that occurred in Rocky Mountain National Park over the weekend and the more than 70 that have occurred so far this month.

Of the recent slides, one notable slide involved a skier and two visitors in Rocky Mountain National Park, occurring on May 11 at approximately 11 AM.

According to the official Colorado Avalanche Information Center report, a “size 2” avalanche occurred in the “Dead Elk Couloir,” which was triggered by a skier entering the couloir, partially burying two visitors to the park with another party below. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries.

A “size 2” avalanche falls on the smaller end of a 1 to 5 ranking, but can still be deadly. The estimated pitch of the slope where the slide occurred was 35 to 45 degrees.

If you’re entering the backcountry, be aware that avalanche risk is still very much so a factor. With heavy late season snow, more avalanches are likely to occur before summer hits. Only enter avalanche-prone areas if you’ve got the proper training to do so.



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