CAIC: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

2022/12/31 - Colorado - Number 5, Carter Gulch southwest of Breckenridge

Published 2023/01/04 by Mike Cooperstein - Forecaster, CAIC

Avalanche Details

  • Location: Number 5, Carter Gulch southwest of Breckenridge
  • State: Colorado
  • Date: 2022/12/31
  • Time: 12:00 AM (Estimated)
  • Summary Description: 2 sidecountry riders caught, 1 partially buried, 1 buried and killed
  • Primary Activity: Sidecountry Rider
  • Primary Travel Mode: Ski


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


  • Type: SS
  • Trigger: AS - Skier
  • Trigger (subcode): u - An unintentional release
  • Size - Relative to Path: --
  • Size - Destructive Force: D2
  • Sliding Surface: G - At Ground/Ice/Firm


  • Slope Aspect: SE
  • Site Elevation: 11600 ft
  • Slope Angle: --
  • Slope Characteristic: Planar Slope,Sparse Trees

Accident Summary

PRELIMINARY: On December 31, 2022, at around 1:00 PM, two sidecountry skiers were caught in an avalanche on Peak 10 southwest of Breckenridge. The two riders exited Breckenridge Ski Resort through a backcountry access gate. They went to an area locally known as the Numbers, a common area for people to leave the ski area and recreate in the backcountry. The Numbers is south to southeast-facing terrain at about 11,600 feet. 

The avalanche partially buried Skier 1. He was able to extricate himself from the debris. He could not find Skier 2. Skier 1 returned to a spot where he could get cell phone service and, at 1:40 PM, called 911 to report the accident. 

Summit County Rescue Group, Summit County Sheriff's Office Special Operations Unit, and members of the Breckenridge Ski Patrol responded to the scene. An avalanche rescue dog team found Skier 2 at 3:11 PM. He was, unfortunately, deceased. 

Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the people involved in this tragic accident. CAIC staff will visit the accident site on Sunday, January 1, and we will publish a final report in the next week.