Skiers triggered deadly southern Colo. avalanche |

Skiers triggered deadly southern Colo. avalanche

RIDGWAY, Colo. – Investigators say an avalanche in southwest Colorado that killed one and injured another was triggered by skiers who were crossing a ridge above the two who were caught in the snow.

A party of seven skiers was using a backcountry hut system in the San Juan Mountains when the avalanche near Ridgway Thursday swept away two men in the group. Ouray County sheriff’s investigator Joel Burk told The Denver Post that the group had split up and skiers crossing a ridge above the others triggered the avalanche.

Twenty-seven-year-old Kellen Robert Sams of Manitou Springs tried riding out the slide but struck a tree and died at the scene. Twenty-four-year-old Dominic Franz Muth suffered a dislocated hip after being buried underneath two feet of snow.

The Daily Sentinel reported that Sams worked for Adventure Programs and Education for Fort Carson’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation program, which provides year-round services to military personnel. He was on a personal trip at the time.


Information from: The Daily Sentinel,


Information from: The Denver Post,

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