Preliminary Accident Report Climax Chutes Wet Slab Fatality

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 04/29/2020
Subject: Preliminary Accident Report Climax Chutes Wet Slab Fatality
Aspect: North East
Elevation: 10,000

PRELIMINARY ACCIDENT SUMMARY: A group of four backcountry skiers ascended Mount Emmons. Descending the northeast side through an area known as the Climax Chutes, the group triggered a shallow long-running wet-loose avalanche. The group descended a ridgeline one-at-a-time, with Skier 1 leading. Skier 1 triggered several more wet-loose avalanches, then descended out of sight down the steepening ridge. The group continued down the ridge after losing contact with Skier 1. One of the wet-loose avalanches carried Skier 1 over a cliff and triggered a deeper, and larger, wet-slab avalanche. The avalanche carried Skier 1 down a very steep, timbered slope. The group found Skier 1 unconscious and injured on the treed slope. They attempted to revive him, but his injuries were too severe. They made contact with local first responders, who assisted the group back to the trailhead. Skier 1’s body was recovered the following day.

You can read the Preliminary Report here.