A Fort Collins, Colo., man has died in the Buffalo Pass area near Steamboat, of an apparent avalanche. The man identified as Tyler Lundstedt, 24, and his brother, Jordan Lundstedt, 21, were snowmobiling when they became lost.
Six search and rescue teams from multiple agencies were involved in the search. Late Monday evening, the father of the men found Jordan alive in a snow cave he built. Jackson County Search and Rescue later confirmed that Tyler had died. Jordan, who was partially buried in the slide, was rescued and transported for medical evaluation.
A young skier also died on Vail Mountain, in a skier-triggered avalanche on Sunday. Prima Cornice, the location of the accident, was closed at the time. Prima Cornice is an expert-only, double-black diamond trail on Vail Mountain. The Vail Daily is reporting the young man as 13-year-old Taft Conlin of nearby Eagle, Colo.
Vail Ski Patrol received a call at around 1:40 p.m. Sunday, and they responded immediately, according to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. “Ski Patrol provided advanced life support and transported the patient to an awaiting ambulance. He was then transported to the Vail Valley Medical Center,” according to a statement from the Eagle County Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff’s office added that the incident is under investigation.
The Prima Cornice area is rated as a double black diamond. Photo Courtesy of ColoradoSkiAuthority.
A separate press release from Vail Resorts adds, “Vail Mountain, the Vail Ski Patrol and the Vail Resorts family extend their deepest sympathy and support to the family and friends of the skier.”
Eugene Buchanan of Steamboat was a longtime family friend of the Conlin family. "Taft was just an all-around great Colorado kid, whether he was telemarking, hunting, paddling, or playing lacrosse or hockey," Buchanan said. "The day he died he texted his sister, Maddie, that he was having the best ski day of his life... he will be sorely missed by everyone."
A 28-year-old male skier also died in an avalanche while skiing at Mary Jane in Winter Park on Sunday. The unidentified skier was separated from his family and was caught in an avalanche. Ski Patrol there received a report late in the afternoon that a skier failed to meet up with his party as planned.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center, CAIC, reports there was a small avalanche in a gully feature at Winter Park that killed the man while he was skiing in the woods with his family. Ski Patrol immediately began search efforts after the call. The man was found in the trees off Trestle Trail. He was unresponsive and Ski Patrol began CPR. He was transported to medical facilities at the base area.
The Grand County Coroner has determined that the cause of death was asphyxiation. “The resort extends their deepest sympathies to the family and friends affected by this tragic event.”
Another death was reported Jan. 14 at Copper Mountain Resort. Donald Hinckley, 51, died after being involved in an accident on the Far East Trail at Copper. According to the resort, a witness reported that he was traveling at a slow speed, collapsed forward and appeared to hit his head on a snow-covered tree stump. Hinckley, who was from Texas, went into cardiac arrest after falling. He was wearing a helmet.
Monday, 32-year-old snowboarder, Aaron Easter, was found unresponsive at about 11:30 a.m. on Quickdraw at Steamboat Ski Area, according to a news release. Those who found Easter performed CPR until ski patrol arrived. He was transported to Yampa Valley Medical Center and later was flown to Denver. Easter was pronounced dead according to a Denver Health spokesperson on Tuesday evening.
Widespread dangerous avalanche conditions exist today in the Vail and Summit County areas, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC). Another avalanche death occurred last week at Snowmass. CAIC forecasters are visiting all of the accident sites and will release more details in the future.
The organization added that dangerous avalanche conditions persist today. Brian Lazar with CAIC wrote on Monday, “Triggering avalanches is likely on any snow-covered slope 30 degrees or steeper that did not slide during the natural cycle yesterday. The natural avalanche cycle has largely run its course, so I will drop the Avalanche Warning, but natural avalanches are still possible today. Triggering slides will be easy today, and some of them will be bigger than what we have seen so far this winter. Triggering avalanches remotely and from low angle or even flat terrain is likely. Be very wary near or below any avalanche terrain, and keep in mind that even small slides can bury and kill you.