Snowshoer walks off 30-foot cornice in Breckenridge whiteout

A snowshoer walked off a cornice during a whiteout on Mt. Baldy on April 28, and then sparked two avalanches trying to climb out.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports the solo snowshoer was retreating from the summit of Mt. Baldy, a 13,690-foot peak just east of Breckenridge, when a fast-moving snowstorm shrouded the peak. The person was disoriented and fell nearly 30 feet off the cornice onto the mountain’s east face.

The victim was not injured in the fall. The cornice itself did not collapse.

This from the CAIC report:

“While attempting to climb back out they triggered a D1 Storm Slab avalanche that ran approximately 900 feet,” CAIC forecaster Drew Gibson writes in his report. “They were caught and carried but ultimately not buried.”

After that the victim called 911. While waiting for Summit County Rescue Group, the victim tried one more time to leave the area and sparked another small avalanche. Again, the victim was not carried or buried.

“Summit County Rescue Group responded to the scene and were able to help the stuck party back to the ridgeline with the assistance of a rope system,” Gibson writes.