Skier triggers avalanche on Loveland Pass |

Skier triggers avalanche on Loveland Pass

Jefferson Geiger
Summit Daily News
A skier triggered an avalanche Friday, Oct. 29, in an area known as Kitchen Wall on Loveland Pass. The two other avalanches ran sympathetically, and the skier was unharmed.
Summit County Sheriff’s Office/Courtesy photo

A skier triggered an avalanche Friday on Loveland Pass. Summit County Rescue Group spokesperson Charles Pittman said they received a call from dispatch at 12:50 p.m. Friday and that the avalanche occurred in an area known as Kitchen Wall, above Pass Lake before the summit.

Pittman said two local, experienced skiers — who had the proper gear, skied the area before and took the time to analyze the snowpack with a snow pit — were in the area. The second skier triggered the avalanche and was carried over 400 feet. The skier was not buried or injured.

“Even people like that, the conditions can conspire against them, which is what happened this time,” Pittman said about the pair’s experience level. “It goes to show that the snowpack this time of year is very tender, and I think a lot of it has to do with the snow that is up there is sitting on a grassy surface, and the snow is still warm. It hasn’t frozen yet. It’s not at all unusual to get a slide this time of year.”

Another avalanche near Loveland Pass occurred as recently as Oct. 24.

According to Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the snowpack is touchy in steep areas below ridgelines and in steep, confined gullies where winds have deposited snow over weak, early season layers. Steep, northerly and easterly facing slopes near and above treeline are likely spots to trigger an avalanche.

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