Searchers recover body of Snowmass avalanche victim |

Searchers recover body of Snowmass avalanche victim

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado
Brandon Zukoff

SNOWMASS VILLAGE – The body of Brandon J. Zukoff, who was killed in a backcountry avalanche last week, was recovered Tuesday from the East Snowmass Creek area outside of Snowmass Village.

Zukoff, 26, died Feb. 22 in Sand’s Chute, off the west side of the Snowmass Ski Area, while he was skiing with friends.

Mountain Rescue Aspen, the Snowmass Ski Patrol and DBS Helicopters took part in Tuesday’s recovery operation.

Because additional snow slides triggered last week in the chute had moved Zukoff’s body, searchers decided to use avalanche dogs in Tuesday’s recovery. Two ski patrol members, a mountain rescue member and three dogs formed the search team. The dogs quickly located the body, according to a Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office press release.

The mission began at 6 a.m. and the body was found by about 8 a.m. Shortly after 9 a.m., a 12-person team from mountain rescue arrived at the location of Zukoff’s body; it had been moved about 200 yards from the location at which it was originally reported last week, and covered by about three feet of snow. The helicopter was used to fly Zukoff’s body out of the field. Searchers were out of the field by 12:30 p.m.

Zukoff, a native of Grand Blanc, Mich, was an avid backcountry skier who moved to the area about four years ago.

See Wednesday’s Aspen Times for more on Tuesday’s recovery effort.

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