Sheriff: Body recovery unlikely over weekend |

Sheriff: Body recovery unlikely over weekend

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

SNOWMASS – Steady snowfall and high winds Friday, and a forecast for more precipitation over the weekend likely means the recovery mission for a man claimed by an avalanche Tuesday won’t occur until the middle of next week, Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo said Friday.

“All of those chutes reloaded overnight, and it’s pretty unstable again,” he said. “The word I’m getting is we need to have a couple of days of stable weather before we try again.”

Sheriff’s officials met Friday morning with members of Mountain Rescue Aspen and made the call to put off the recovery effort of Brandon John Zukoff, 26, of Snowmass Village.

Zukoff, a native of Grand Blanc, Mich., was an avid backcountry skier. He died when he triggered an avalanche while skiing Sand’s Chute off the west side of Snowmass ski area. He was with two companions – one skied safely down the chute first, and the third one picked a new route after the slide caught Zukoff.

Three members of MRA and Brian McCall, local forecaster with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, tried to retrieve the body Thursday. But the second of two bomb-triggered avalanches re-covered the body with snow and moved it as well.

DiSalvo said officials believe the body is within a 600-square-foot area.

“There’s a lot of good reason for us not to be up there now,” he said.

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