Earlier today an avalanche in East Vail, a popular backcountry skiing destination, claimed the life of one man. Vail Mountain Ski Patrol was called in to recover the body according to County Coroner, Kara Bettis. Officials report that the man was skiing with two other people and all three were equipped with avalanche safety beacons. The man was recovered shortly after the slide by the members of his party and CPR was administered.
Upon hearing the news of the tragedy we immediately caught up with one Vail local who had this to say.
“There are massive instabilities since we had that dry month and a half. I’m surprised that there haven’t been more deaths with the amount of people not using proper avalanche gear or protocol.
This is a great example of how skier compaction does nothing to impact the stability of the snowpack in areas such like this that get huge amounts of wind-loading and snow.”
This is a sobering wakeup call for the Vail community and brings a spotlight to one of the most popular backcountry destinations in the state. On any given day, hundreds of skiers are known to be skiing in East Vail thanks to its proximity to the resort, accessibility and legendary terrain.
Freeskier Magazine would like to extend its deepest condolences to the victims family and remind our readers to take proper precautions in the backcountry.