Detailed Accident Report
Submitted By: CAIC; Dale Atkins
Place: South Diamond Peak at Cameron Pass
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.