Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2000-12-29
Submitted By: CAIC; Dale Atkins
Place: South Diamond Peak at Cameron Pass
State: CO
Country: USA
Fatalities: 1
Summary: 1 backcountry snowboarder caught, buried, and killed

Diamond Peaks, CO

December 29, 2000

1 backcountry snowboarder buried and killed

About noon today (December 29), a snowboarder was reported buried and

killed on South Diamond Peak at Cameron Pass, a popular backcountry

skiing and snowboarding area about 40 miles (as the crow flies) west of

Fort Collins. The victim was by himself and was hiking up the center

gully face when he released a very large slab avalanche. A couple of

out-of-state snowshowers in the area witnessed the avalanche and went to

get help. It took others in the area some time to climb to the site to

begin the initial search.

The victim was located when a small part of his snowboard was spotted

sticking out of the snow. He had been buried for at least several hours.

The hard slab avalanche has been reported to be up to 500 yards across

with a fracture line depth of up to 10 to 12 feet deep. The avalanche

released below a cornice so this depth is reasonable. The debris ran

into the trees at the bottom of the face, and some debris even travelled

part way down one of the gullies that extends toward the pass.

Today's accident occurred very close to where a backcountry skier was

killed on December 14, 1999.

We will post more as details become available.