Snowboarder hurt in 1,000-foot avalanche

A snowboarder injured both ankles when she was carried the entire length of a 1,000-foot-long avalanche on the south side of Uneva Peak east of Vail Pass Saturday.

The woman was partially buried in the debris field of the slide, which was estimated to be 800 feet wide and four feet deep. She was dug out by the rest of her party, which included another snowboarder and two skiers, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said.

Two of the four already had made it halfway down the slope without incident when the victim triggered the slide. The fourth person was still on top.

The group called 911 around 3:45 p.m., and the sheriff’s office and Vail Mountain Rescue were dispatched. As darkness fell, the group guided rescuers to their location using headlamps.

An air evacuation was ruled out due to high winds, and rescuers on skis instead carried out the victim to where she could be taken by ambulance to Vail Valley Medical Center.

The sheriff’s office said riding Uneva in Saturday’s snow conditions was questionable, but the group avoided a potentially larger incident by descending one at a time.


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