Report: Misjudgments led to avalanche that killed Longmont man in southwestern Colorado

Kieran Nicholson
The Denver Post
A view of the face of the avalanche crown at Upper Senator Beck Basin, northwest of Red Mountain Pass with a 120 centimeter ski pole.
Colorado Avalanche Information Center

An avalanche that swept six skiers participating in an advanced avalanche safety course downslope this month, killing a 40-year-old man who was part of the group, was triggered as the skiers failed to follow a basic procedure aimed at minimizing avalanche threats and risk, according to investigators.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center on Wednesday released a report on the Jan. 5 avalanche on Upper Senator Beck Basin, northwest of Red Mountain Pass.

“This accident is especially troublesome as it involved a group of well-trained and well-equipped people in an avalanche safety class,” said the report published by Ethan Greene, Jeff Davis, Ann Mellick and Chris Bilbrey of the avalanche center.

Peter Marshall of Longmont was the first person killed by an avalanche this year in Colorado. The group on the mountain was with the Silverton Avalanche School.

Read the full story in The Denver Post.