(Last Updated On: January 18, 2010)
There were a couple of tragic freak accidents in the Colorado backcountry this weekend. One was right here in Crested Butte. A local skier was ascending the skintrack to ski “Coney’s” when he apparently collapsed and died of what appears to be a heart attack from what I hear. I’ve been told he was only 35.
Meanwhile, in Telluride, a woman who was snowboarding with Telluride Helitrax accidentally fell into a creek and drowned. What is really strange about this story is that reports have indicated the guide was unable to free her because her helmet was wedged under a rock. This may be the rare circumstance when a helmet may have contributed to a death, rather than preventing one. More information on this accident can be found at the Telluride Daily Planet and the L.A Times Read the comments in the L.A.Times for an outrageous take on what “gender roles” had to do with this accident.
Some of the dangers of the backcountry are a given, such as avalanches. The thought of a backcountry partner having a heart attack in the backcountry is a tough one, knowing there is nothing that could ever be done in a case like that. Likewise, while creek crossings evoke a healthy dose of respect in the backcountry, who would think that a helmet would create a deadly situation like that.