Sheriff says snowboarder who died in Vail Pass avalanche may have been smoking Dead-Head OG
One snowboarder survived, as did a snowmobiler who took them to the top of the bowl, where they'd been riding all day. The names of the individuals involved were not released to the public pending notification of next of kin.
Here's the preliminary report from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center:
"A group of three snowboarders using snowmobiles to access the backcountry from Vail Pass were involved in a large avalanche. Two riders were caught. One was washed into a stand of trees, and was killed. He likely died from his injuries. The other rode out or most of the way out of the debris. Other touring groups in the area helped with the first response. US Forest Service, Eagle and Summit County Sheriff's offices, Vail Mountain Rescue Group, and Summit County Rescue Group responded to the accident. CAIC staff will visit the site on April 19th. We will report more information as it becomes available.
"The deep, persistent-slab avalanche is described at 10' deep and close to 300' wide. It broke trees 3-5" in diameter. It released on a north aspect in a near-treeline area."
Here's the full press release from the Eagle County Sheriff's Office:On Thursday April 18, 2013, at approximately 1:30 p.m. the Vail Public Safety Communications Center received a 911 call reporting an avalanche at the Avalanche Bowl, South of Vail Pass.
It appears that the very large avalanche was triggered by two snowboarders who were dropped off at the top of the bowl by a friend on a snowmobile. The three individuals involved had been taking turns making runs down the Avalanche Bowl all day. Detectives with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office were informed that the parties involved were under the influence of Dead-Head OG (a strain of Marijuana) at the time of the incident.
One of the snowboarders was able to escape the avalanche. The other snowboarder became trapped. Friends were able to locate the victim using avalanche beacons however resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.
All three were experienced snowboarders and snowmobilers who are very familiar with the Avalanche Bowl area. They were all equipped with safety equipment.
The identity of the victim in this incident is not being released at this time pending notification of next of kin.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center will be conducting a size survey of the avalanche tomorrow.
The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office worked collaboratively with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Summit County Mountain Rescue, Vail Mountain Rescue, and the Eagle County Coroner’s Office on this incident.
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