One person confirmed dead in backcountry avalanche near Aspen
Slide occurred Monday morning in Markley Hut area
January 21, 2019
An unidentified man died Monday morning in an avalanche in the Express Creek area of the Castle Creek Valley outside of Aspen, an official said.
Emergency dispatchers received a call at 10:19 a.m. from a Mountain Rescue Aspen member reporting that one man in the area of the Markley Hut was caught in the avalanche, which occurred shortly before the call, said Alex Burchetta, director of operations at the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
It appeared people in the area were able to dig the man out of the snow and start CPR, though that was not successful, Burchetta said.
“We have one confirmed fatality,” he said.
MRA members were mobilizing late Monday morning to retrieve the body and help escort other members of the man’s party out of the backcountry, Burchetta said.
The Markley Hut is located outside Ashcroft in the Express Creek area and is part of the Alfred A. Braun hut system. Ashcroft is about 12 miles from Aspen.
The MRA member who reported the incident was in the area of the avalanche, but not with man who died, he said. No other information about the man or the size of the avalanche was immediately available Monday morning, Burchetta said.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has warned that the backcountry in the area is dangerous, and Burchetta warned people to be cautious.
This is a developing story that will be updated.