Avalanche misses skiers near Aspen

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” A large, naturally occurring avalanche near the base of Pearl Pass Road passed between a dozen backcountry skiers who had split into two smaller groups of six Sunday afternoon. No one was injured.

The slide, on South Kellogg Chute, was reported to be roughly 500 yards wide and crossed Castle Creek and Castle Creek Road two miles above Ashcroft, south of Aspen.

Because of the size of the avalanche and the fact that the first group of six skiers was cut off from the second group, Mountain Rescue Aspen was called to the scene. However, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office said it was unlikely rescuers would have gone into the field due to the extremely high avalanche danger.

The 12 skiers were returning from a night out at one of the Braun Huts.

Avalanche danger in the Aspen zone is rated high overall by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. According to the CAIC: “The avalanche danger for the Aspen zone is high on north, northeast, east and southeast aspects near and above treeline where natural and human-triggered slides are likely. Elsewhere the danger is considerable.