Avalanche warnings in high country until Monday; backcountry skier dies in avalanche on Christmas Eve

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The open bowls north of Loveland Pass. On the ridge line to the right is Idiot’s Cornice, a particularly avalanche prone feature in the basin. Backcountry skiers and snowboarders took advantage of good snow and clear skies on New Year’s Eve 2020 to get in turns off the Continental Divide at Loveland Pass.

A backcountry skier was buried in an avalanche on December 24 around the southeast end of South Diamond Peak near Cameron Pass along the Front Range.

The avalanche was about 250 feet wide and below the tree line, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

A fellow skier was able to locate the victim with a transceiver and probe pole. The partner was able to extricate him, but he did not survive. A search and rescue team recovered the victim's body after sundown, on Friday.

Avalanche warnings in affect until Monday

Grand Mesa, Aspen, Gunnison and Southern San Juan counties have an avalanche warning until 8 a.m. Monday morning. A special advisory is in affect for Grand Mesa, warning of large, fast running slides coming across flat terrain as well.

Northern San Juan and everything north of Sawatch (Vail, Summit, Steamboat, Flat Tops) as well as the Front Range are all under avalanche watch until Sunday morning.