Colorado Avalanche Has Happy Ending

Feb 21, 2013 3:47pm

A group of 15 skiers were swept away by an avalanche at the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area in Colorado on Saturday. Astonishingly, all were relatively unscathed and even received some viral traction from the slide.

“You just heard the ground moan, basically, and all the snow under you started to move,” survivor Anthony Robinson told CBS Denver affiliate CBS4. “It didn’t take long for it to start moving faster than I could move.” Within an instant, Robinson was buried up to the neck in snow. Other survivors, who were not buried, had to dig him out. But not before snapping a picture of him smiling from above the mounds.

According to the preliminary report by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, 14 customers and 1 ski patroller were skiing in an area that was closed to the general public, but was accessed through directed skiing. Triggered by a skier, it reached 330 feet wide and was between 16 inches and nearly 12 feet deep. It carried the destructive force of over 1,000 tons of snow.

“It’s pretty remarkable that 15 people were caught in a single slide, a person was buried, and everybody walked away besides one person with a knee injury,” exclaims Brian Lazar, deputy director of the CAIC.  ”It’s extremely fortunate.”

Robinson recounts, “I do believe that a lot of luck and something from above kind of said, ‘not today.’”

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Debris in the track of the avalanche, Courtesy: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

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