Sheriff says snowboarder who died in Vail Pass avalanche may have been smoking Dead-Head OG

By Real Vail
Real AspenApril 18, 2013
A snowboarder died in a "very large" avalanche in Avalanche Bowl south of Vail Pass on Thursday, according to the Eagle County Sheriff's Office, which also reported the parties involved may have been under the influence of a strain of marijuana known as 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 deadly slide near Vail Pass on Thursday (CAIC photo).

"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.

comments: 8 Comments on "Sheriff says snowboarder who died in Vail Pass avalanche may have been smoking Dead-Head OG"

Pope – April 18, 2013, at 10:34 p.m.

Can someone tell me how the strain of marajuana they may have been smoking is at all relevant to this story? That's about as relevant as what they ate for breakfast.
This is irresponsible reporting.

Cdub00230 – April 18, 2013, at 10:49 p.m.

This is ridiculous. Dead head OG should never be in a head line of someone's passing. Whether or not marijuana was involved or not, it certainly had no influence on the eventual outcome of the situation. Mother Nature wanted to produce a slide. For someone to blame this on marijuana is ludicrous. I'm a non user and still feel this way. The people in the the field were more than likely over qualified and experienced in the terrain. That is so disrespectful. Who ever posted that headline should be ashamed of themselves.

you call this reporting? – April 19, 2013, at 9:42 a.m.

Stupid reporter...what a shmuck... could you post the name of the idiot that wrote this article, would love to give him a call.

go back to your job at mcdonalds...

Karen – April 19, 2013, at 4:58 p.m.

You should be ashamed of yourselves. When someone dies in a natural disaster what bearing does it have on the story to point out that they were smoking pot, like smoking pot caused the avalanche????

You owe the family of this poor man an apology for even including that in the story. SHAME ON YOU...

RE – April 19, 2013, at 10:14 p.m.

Sounds like the author of this article was smoking paint chips. What an absolute, idiotic thing to write. I've seen this mentioned a few stories on the incident. You must be able to get a job writing for a paper about as easy as you could at Enterprise Rent-A Car. You should drown yourself and make room for decent human beings.

FUchizad – April 20, 2013, at 9:27 a.m.

Worst freaking article I have ever seen. Have some freaking decency. Judge and be judged sucka.

D – April 20, 2013, at 3:26 p.m.

This title is disrespectful to the family of the victim, insulting to the intelligence your readers, and a textbook example of shallow, sensationalist "journalism". Congrats, you just scored a hat trick of unprofessionalism in 16 words or less.

D – April 20, 2013, at 8:11 p.m.

bossierben: did you read the comment information statement on the right side of this page? Specifically the parts that read "Abusive" and "defamatory"? There's no clause in there saying "and please comment with at least a slight amount of class", but if there were, you'd be in breach of three Terms of Use instead of just two.

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