Aspen Local Killed in Backcountry Avalanche


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Courtesy of CAIC

Longtime Aspen resident Adam Dennis was killed yesterday in a deep-slab avalanche below treeline in Desolation Row. The out-of-bounds run near the Aspen Highlands had been covered by more than a foot of snow over the weekend, which resulted in slope instability and a “moderate” avalanche treat, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

Dennis, 38, was skiing with four others when the slide occurred. His friends, who notified authorities, managed to dig him out within 15 minutes of the disaster, but cardiopulmonary resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. “Everything was done by the book as far as avalanche protocol,” says Dirk Brockelmann, an avalanche educator and member of Dennis' group. The Aspen Daily News reports that Mountain Rescue Aspen plans to recover Dennis' body today.

According to Real Vail, Dennis' death is the sixth avalanche fatality in Colorado this 2010-2011 season. Another slide occurred last Saturday on Independence Pass, but the three skiers who triggered the class V slide survived and are “lucky to be alive,” according the the CAIC report.

–Whitney Dreier


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