Team recovers skier’s body from avalanche near Aspen |

Team recovers skier’s body from avalanche near Aspen

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – A search team has recovered the body of a skier reported missing Tuesday in the backcountry south of Aspen. The individual was found Wednesday by a canine search team in the debris field of a large avalanche.

The victim’s name has not been released, pending notification of relatives, but the individual is reportedly a local man.

About 18 members of Mountain Rescue Aspen, plus three canine search teams and a helicopter responded as part of the search and recovery effort. Mountain Rescue alerted the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office shortly before 9 a.m. that the skier’s body had been found.

The body was recovered from the debris field of a large slide, described by Mountain Rescue as about 150 yards long and 20 to 30 feet wide at the bottom. The body was airlifted from the site by DBS Helicopters and taken to Aspen Valley Hospital at 9:45 a.m., where a member of the county coroner’s office was waiting.

The skier was reported missing Tuesday by others in the party of eight. The avalanche occurred at about 4 p.m. near the Lindley Hut, south of Ashcroft in the Castle Creek Valley. Authorities said the seven other skiers in the group tried but failed to find the missing person, and managed to get through to the sheriff’s office with a 911 call at about 6 p.m.

The group was made up of experienced backcountry skiers, according to authorities.

The hut is part of the Alfred Braun Hut system. It’s located at an elevation of about 10,480 feet, about 16 miles south of Aspen.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center rated the avalanche danger in the Aspen area as considerable on Wednesday, down from a high rating on Monday. On Tuesday, the rating was considerable at most aspects and elevations, but was still rated high on south- to east-facing slopes.

Also Tuesday, a snowboarder triggered an avalanche on Richmond Ridge, off the back of Aspen Mountain, according the CAIC report. Rescue crews brought avalanche dogs to the site, but no one was found in the debris. The slide was more than a foot deep and about 100 feet wide, according to the report.

This article will be updated.

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