Boulder Skier Dies In Avalanche At A-Basin

Rescuers Unsure About Other Possible Victims

A Boulder skier was killed in an avalanche at the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area in Summit County Friday and it was unknown if others were also trapped.

The avalanche was reported on the Pallavicini section of the ski area.

The huge slide was reported at about 10:30 a.m., and Summit County Search and Rescue volunteers were dispatched to the location. They quickly located the victim and administered first aid. The man was pronounced dead at noon.

He was identified as David Conway, 53.

Witnesses said Conway was skiing when the avalanche occurred in the Alley area of the Pallavicini run. The area was open for skiing and snowboarding and not closed as earlier reported It is shown as double black diamond terrain on the ski area's trail map. That is the most extreme type of skiable terrain.

Searchers said they were not sure if other people were trapped in the slide but conditions were too dangerous to continue looking for them Friday afternoon. They stopped searching about 1 p.m. and were pulled off the mountain due to the extreme danger of additional avalanches.

A large pine tree was snapped off by the force of the avalanche. Slideshow: See Deadly Avalanche

Witnesses described the snow slide as "massive." It was at least 300 feet wide and more than a thousand feet long, as seen from Airtracker 7.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reported this was the first avalanche fatality at a ski area since Jan 9, 1975.

A-Basin is one of the highest ski areas in the United States, with a summit elevation of 13,050 feet. It generally remains open into the summer. It sometimes stays open until July 4.

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