Skiers Allison Kreutzen and Kip Garre Die in Avalanche

Apr 29, 2011
Outside Magazine

Ski guide and mountaineer Kip Garre and Allison Kreutzen were killed in an avalanche in the Sierra Nevada backcountry south of Bishop, California, earlier this week, according to reports from and Teton AT.

The couple had reportedly planned to ski the Split Couloir Tuesday, a 2,000-foot descent recently listed in Fifty Classic Ski Descents of North America. When they failed to return, a search and rescue effort was launched Thursday morning. Seven of Garre's and Kreutzen's friends assisted the SAR team, including Robb Gaffney, who later told Powder what they discovered.

"We saw a ski, then, partially, a body. ... It appeared that they were probably climbing the couloir when the avalanche hit from above, and it looked like a pretty powerful avalanche.

“Each of them was partially buried—Kip a little bit more so, while Allison had been ejected to the side. We were able to dig them out and all the property, probably over more than a thousand vertical feet down the path, and marked all that. Then we waited for search and rescue to come."

Kreutzen, 41, was an accomplished ski mountaineer, climber, ultramarathoner and ER nurse.  Originally from California, she had undertaken numerous ski mountaineering expeditions around the world including South America, Chamonix, Alaska and Mongolia. Garre, 38, was originally from Hancock, New Hampshire. He moved to Squaw Valley, California, and was part of the early '90s freeskiing movement. A supporter of skiing's park scene, he later shifted focus to backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He notched descents around the world in places like Pakistan, China, Antarctica, and, of course, the Sierra. ESPN once called him the "Most Interesting Man in the World."

--Michael Webster

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