Larimer County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Services personnel received a report of a large avalanche at Cameron Pass on Feb. 2 at approximately 12:30 p.m. The avalanche was located in the South Diamond Peak/Montgomery Bowl area of Cameron Pass. The Larimer County Search and Rescue Team also responded to assist emergency service personnel.
One man received a knee injury during the incident but refused medical assistance on scene. No other injuries were reported.
Emergency Services personnel returned to the avalanche area at 11:10 p.m. Saturday night on the report of two skiers who were overdue and reported missing. At 12:24 a.m., the two skiers called the reporting party indicating they had gotten stuck on a long trail which took them 12 hours to get through.
Emergency Services responders remind backcountry riders to be sure and check conditions prior to leaving, carry the proper equipment and know how to use it. According to the Forest Service National Avalanche Center you should always have a beacon, a shovel and a probe pole. They also recommend wearing a helmet and an Avalung as well as using releasable bindings on skis and snowboards.
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The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (https://avalanche.state.co.us) currently has a special advisory out for the front range stating, “The current snowpack across Colorado is in a delicate state of balance. Before the last storm cycle moved across the state the base layers of the snow were exceptionally weak. The new snow during the storm came in with significant wind and a high water content, meaning the new snow was heavy, and developed quickly into dangerous slabs. It is taking little additional stress to trigger large, deep and dangerous avalanches. These conditions will linger for some time into the future. Backcountry riders are advised to use extra caution if traveling in or around avalanche terrain…”
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Colorado Parks and Wildlife rangers also assisted.