Skier buried, unhurt in avalanche near Lindley Hut south of Aspen |

Skier buried, unhurt in avalanche near Lindley Hut south of Aspen

Avalanche conditions eased this weekend to “moderate” in the Aspen area — second lowest in a scale of five — but experts said backcountry travelers cannot let their guard down, as a burial of a skier Friday morning south of Aspen attests.

A human-triggered avalanche completely buried a skier near the Lindley Hut, but the person escaped harm when dug out by witnesses, according to a report filed with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. The report was filed Saturday.

Two people were buried in Friday’s slide, according to a report filed by a witness. They were directly above the Lindley Hut, which is at an elevation of 10,800 feet in the headwaters of Castle Creek, about 3 miles south of Ashcroft. The skiers were “washed into trees,” the report said. “One small slough knocked them down, then a larger event washed them into the trees, burying one person.”

The report indicated the skiers avoided injury. “All safe now,” it said.

The avalanche information center said the event shows that conditions can still be deadly, even with a “moderate” rating.

“This close call, and another remotely triggered avalanche (Saturday), demonstrate that although avalanche danger is slowly improving, not all slopes are safe,” wrote CAIC forecaster Brian Lazar. “Avalanches are breaking up to several feet deep on widespread buried weak layers and are easily large enough to bury you. You can trigger avalanches from the bottom of the slope, from adjacent slopes, or from a distance.”

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