If you read the accident summary, it explains that neither of the snowboarders were carrying any safety equipment. This is so tragic, this death was easily preventable. CAIC (Colorado Avalanche Information Center) deemed the avalanche danger as level 4 / high for this area of the state and if these people knew what they were doing, this wouldn't have happened. Up to two feet+ of snow and extremely high winds made backcountry travel heinously dangerous at the time.
So NS, please, please don't go skiing in the backcountry if you don't know what you're doing and don't have proper equipment. Be safe and enjoy your winter.
Here's the accident report.
•Location: "High Trail Cliffs," northeast of Berthoud Pass
•Time: 11:30 AM (Estimated)
•Summary Description: 1 snowboarder caught, buried, and killed
•Primary Activity: Backcountry Tourer
•Location Setting: Backcountry
•Partially Buried, Non-Critical: 0
•Partially Buried, Critical: 0
•Fully Buried: 1
•Trigger: AR - Snowboarder
•Trigger (subcode): u - An unintentional release
•Size - Relative to Path: --
•Size - Destructive Force: --
•Sliding Surface: --
•Slope Aspect: NW
•Site Elevation: 11200 ft
•Slope Angle: --
•Slope Characteristic: --
The avalanche was triggered at the beginning of a large natural avalanche cycle.
The morning of Monday, January 17 2011, a pair of snowboarders, and one dog, climbed several hundred feet above Berthoud Pass and traversed northeast above the "High Trail Cliffs." The pair triggered an avalanche. One boarder and the dog were caught and buried. His partner was not caught. He did a hasty search, found no sign of his partner, and descended to the road to summon help. Neither were wearing avalanche safety equipment.
The body was recovered by an organized probe line (Grand County Search and Rescue) on Wednesday, January 19 2011.