Backcountry skier dies in avalanche near Jones Pass in Clear Creek County
A 48-year-old skier was caught, buried and killed in an avalanche Thursday afternoon near Jones Pass, west of Berthoud Pass, in Clear Creek County. Authorities have identified the man as Hans Berg of Empire.
Berg was an employee of Powder Addiction, a company that offers guided backcountry skiing and boarding tours via snowcats in the area by the Jones and Berthoud passes.
Clear Creak Undersheriff Bruce Snelling said that Berg was working as a photographer on Thursday when he was dropped off below a group to get some photos and caught in a massive avalanche.
Employees and patrons helped rescue Berg from the snow. He was taken to a metro area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
The cause remains under investigation. Snelling said that Powder Addiction has a great track record in the county and, to his knowledge, has never had any issues or reported accidents in the past.
“This was truly just a tragic accident,” Snelling said.
Berg’s backcountry death came as numerous avalanches plagued the high country and covered many routes, including Interstate 70. Avalanche danger remains extremely high, and people are urged to stay out of the backcountry until the risk subsides.