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Tragedy Strikes Colorado Snowboard Community As Loveland Pass Avalanche Claims Five Lives


By: Mike Lewis
TransWorld Business
April 23, 2013

Scott Toepfer, a member of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, takes depth measurements every 50 feet at the crown of the avalanche near Loveland Pass on Sunday. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

Tragedy struck the Colorado snowboard community this Saturday when four experienced backcountry snowboarders and one skier perished in a massive slide on Loveland Pass during the Rocky Mountain High Backcountry Gathering.

The event, which was organized by Yes/Jones/NOW Rep Joe Timlin, who was one of the victims; was put together to promote backcountry safety and gear and as a fundraiser for Friends of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).

A look at the zone above Loveland Valley ski area. The crown is visible in the middle right above the switchback on Highway 6. At the bottom of the photo, the top of Loveland Valley’s runs is visible. Photo: Courtesy Drago

CAIC’s preliminary report said the slide was approximately 500 feet wide and four feet deep, and was most likely triggered by the riders who were touring on Loveland Pass a popular backcountry zone located about 55 miles west of Denver and just south of Loveland Ski Area, in the Sheep’s Creek area, just above Loveland Valley.
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