Forest Service investigating avalanche |

Forest Service investigating avalanche

Kim Marquis

SILVERTHORNE – The U.S. Forest Service is investigation the May 20 avalanche at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. The slide killed skier David Conway, 53, of Boulder.The purpose of the investigation is to provide the agency information to reduce the likelihood of accidents, Dillon District Ranger Rick Newton said. The team, which includes forest officials from Wyoming, Lake Tahoe and Carbondale, has questioned ski area patrollers and other employees and is taking snow conditions into account, he said.A-Basin operates under a special use permit administered by the Forest Service. It is standard procedure for the agency to investigate all serious accidents that involve permitees, Newton said. While the Forest Service sets policies for the ski area through the permit for procedures such as signs, safety and even advertising guidelines, Newton said the agency is not directly responsible for day-to-day operations at the ski area.That responsibility falls to ski area operators, he said.A final report is required from the investigation team in 45 working days. Vail, Colorado

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