Two escape avalanche near A-Basin |

Two escape avalanche near A-Basin

Caddie Nath
Summit Daily News
Summit County, CO Colorado

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colorado – Two Summit County men caught in an avalanche near Arapahoe Basin just before noon Friday were quickly located by friends assisting the Summit County Rescue Group.

A snowboarder, 42, was completely buried in the slide, which occurred on a route called Devil’s Tool, near Highway 6 across from A-Basin. A skier, 38, who was with him suffered a leg fracture and had to be transported out by toboggan, said Jim Koegel, spokesman for the rescue group.

The snowboarder triggered the slide and was completely submerged by the snow, but was able to create an air pocket and yell for help. His friends, who were assisting rescue workers, heard him and found him within about 15 minutes after his burial.

Both men are long-time backcountry skiers who were familiar with the area and were carrying shovels, beacons and probes.

The snowboarder triggered a wet-slab release, dislodging snow that was loose due to Friday’s warm temperatures, Koegel said.

“If they had skied the line a half hour or an hour earlier, it wouldn’t have slid on them,” Koegel said.

Summit County Rescue Group had 15 volunteers out and A-Basin added another four rescue workers. Flight for Life was called out, but not ultimately needed.

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