Avalanche in Vail, Colorado kills one

Friday, January 10, 2014

File photo of Vail, Colorado during the snowing season, 2005.
Image: David Benbennick.

An avalanche near Vail, Colorado trapped four people Tuesday, killing one person later identified as Anthony "Tony" Seibert, and injuring the other three. Anthony Seibert was the grandson of Peter Seibert Sr., who with Earl Eaton around 1960 cofounded the resort area in the backcountry that would become part of the Vail Ski Resort.

The Eagle County Coroner reported the avalanche happened around 11:30 A.M. local time (1830 UTC) in an area known as the East Vail Chutes, near the ski resort of Vail. Spencer Logan of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said the area is locally known as dangerous, having already killed two people in 2008. The other three have been found and reported to have suffered nonfatal injuries, walking away from the incident without needing hospital care.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports five fatalities this season, including another in Colorado on December 31, on Parkview Mountain west of Willow Creek Pass, and a snowmobiler in Big Sky, Montana on New Year's Day. A friend of the Seibert family, Scott Klumb, told CNN Seibert's death reminds people "to be careful in the backcountry [...] As exciting as it may look, you have to take the proper precautions."

Peter Seibert Sr. was renowned in the skiing business as, among other roles, the first president of Vail Associates, which he helped make one of the largest and most popular ski resorts in the US. He died aged 77 in July 2002.