On Monday, the avalanche danger was raised to level 3 on the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s five-point danger scale throughout the state’s mountain regions.  The avalanche danger at level 3 is “considerable” and indicates that human triggering of dangerous slides is likely and slides can also occur naturally.  The reported risk of slides near and above tree line in the Front Range mountains, the Vail area, Summit County and around Steamboat Springs was at level 3.

Then on Tuesday, a large avalanche in a back-country area of Vail Mountain , Colo., killed the grandson of a man credited with discovering the terrain that became home to the famous ski resort.  Anthony “Tony” Seibert, 24, of Boulder and Vail was killed in the skiing accident on Tuesday morning, Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis said.

Seibert’s grandfather, Peter Seibert Sr. and Earl Easton are widely viewed as the founders of the Vail resort.  Tony Siebert had recently starred in, “Climb to Glory,” a documentary film about the U.S. Army’s  10th Mountain Division Ski Troopers.

Three other people were also injured in the avalanche.  All of those involved in the accident were skiing in a popular back-country area called the East Vail Chutes in Eagle County. The area is outside the boundaries of the nearby Vail ski area.  No other people were believed to be in the slide area.

The three people hurt did not have life-threatening injuries,  and were able to leave the scene on their own. They did not require admission to the local hospital.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center described the avalanche as “large” and said it happened at or near the timberline.  And this is not the first slide of the season in this area.  On Dec. 22, two brothers skiing in the East Vail Chutes area triggered an 800-foot wide avalanche that buried Edwin LaMair up to his neck in snow.  His brother, David, raced down the hill and dug him out. A helmet camera captured David LaMair’s ski down the slope.

One person has already died this season in a Colorado avalanche after triggering a slide on Parkview Mountain, west of Willow Creek Pass.  Fraser resident George Dirth, 28, was snowboarding in the backcountry when he was caught in a New Year’s Eve slide that was about 150 feet wide and ran 500 vertical feet.  Two members of Dirth’s party used avalanche transceivers to find him. They performed CPR but were unable to resuscitate him.

Categories: Ski Safety, Ski Safety News & Advice
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