CAIC: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

2023/03/19 - Colorado - Maroon Bowl, north of Highland Peak

Published 2023/03/21 by Mike Cooperstein - Forecaster, CAIC

Avalanche Details

  • Location: Maroon Bowl, north of Highland Peak
  • State: Colorado
  • Date: 2023/03/19
  • Time: 12:00 AM
  • Summary Description: 1 sidecountry rider caught, buried, and killed
  • Primary Activity: Sidecountry Rider
  • Primary Travel Mode: Ski


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


  • Type: HS
  • Trigger: AS - Skier
  • Trigger (subcode): u - An unintentional release
  • Size - Relative to Path: R2
  • Size - Destructive Force: D3
  • Sliding Surface: G - At Ground/Ice/Firm


  • Slope Aspect: NW
  • Site Elevation: 11500 ft
  • Slope Angle: --
  • Slope Characteristic: --

Accident Summary

PRELIMINARY: A sidecountry skier triggered and was buried and killed in a large avalanche in Maroon Bowl outside of the Aspen Highlands Ski Area on March 19, 2023. Maroon Bowl is a steep northwest-facing slope in the near treeline elevation band. The avalanche broke about 200 feet wide and ran about 2,000 vertical feet.  

The Pitkin County Sheriff's Office, Mountain Rescue Aspen, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC), and the Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol were all involved in the rescue. 

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 Monday, March 20, and we will publish a final report in the next week.