CAIC: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

2019/12/08 - Colorado - Diamond Peaks, west of Cameron Pass

Published 2019/12/10 by Ethan Greene - Forecaster, CAIC

Avalanche Details

  • Location: Diamond Peaks, west of Cameron Pass
  • State: Colorado
  • Date: 2019/12/08
  • Time: 12:00 AM (Estimated)
  • Summary Description: 1 backcountry skier, caught, buried, and killed
  • Primary Activity: Backcountry Tourer
  • Primary Travel Mode: Ski


  • Caught: 0
  • Fully Buried: 0
  • Injured: 0
  • Killed: 1


  • Type: HS
  • Trigger: AS - Skier
  • Trigger (subcode): u - An unintentional release
  • Size - Relative to Path: R2
  • Size - Destructive Force: D2
  • Sliding Surface: O - Within Old Snow


  • Slope Aspect: NE
  • Site Elevation: 11420 ft
  • Slope Angle: 36 °
  • Slope Characteristic: --

Accident Summary

Preliminary Report: On Sunday December 8, a backcountry skier was caught and fully buried in an avalanche on south Diamond Peak. A member of her touring party and other people in the area performed a rescue. They recovered her from the snow, but she did not survive.

CAIC forecasters visited the accident site on December 9. They reported that the avalanche was approximately 285 feet wide at the crown face and around 375 feet wide at the toe. The avalanche ran around 425 vertical feet. The crown face varied in depth from about 1.5 feet deep on the lookers left to around 3 feet deep on the lookers right. Forecasters found multiple weak layers. The avalanche stepped down to the ground in the thinner areas. We will compile a full report in the next week. Our deepest condolences go out to the friends and family of the deceased, and to everyone affected by this accident.