Rescue teams retrieve stranded snowboarder near Berthoud Pass summit
Ryan Summerlin February 4, 2013
Grand County Search and Rescue and Alpine Rescue Team from Clear Creek County responded to a report of an avalanche near the summit of Berthoud Pass on Saturday, Feb. 2.
The Grand County Communication Center was contacted by the Colorado State Patrol Dispatch Center at approximately 1:30 p.m. and advised of the avalanche. Initial reports indicated that no one was trapped in the avalanche; however, one person was stranded on a rock due to the avalanche.
Carlotta Fazzone, 49, of Boulder, became stranded in a rocky chute after she had triggered an avalanche on the west side of the highway near the summit of the pass.
Alpine Rescue Team was conducting a training at Jones Pass on the east side of Berthoud Pass when mutual assistance was requested by Grand County. Alpine Rescue Team responded quickly with approximately a dozen rescuers being deployed into the field, according to Bill Barwick, a public information officer for Alpine Rescue Team.
Two members of Grand County Search and Rescue were sent into the field to establish visual and verbal contact with the subject while members of Alpine Rescue Team mobilized a roped rescue.
The subject was retrieved and evacuated from her position in the chute by Alpine Rescue Team members.
Fazzone suffered no injuries and refused medical attention after the incident.
The Grand County Sheriffs Office, Grand County EMS, and the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office also had personnel on scene.
A special advisory statement was released by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center for the Front Range zone that states the snow is in a delicate state of balance as the last storm cycle dropped snow with a high water content, meaning the snow was heavy, and was pushed into slabs by high winds. The new snow rests on top of older, weaker layers of snow that have the potential to create larger slides. The advisory is in effect through Wednesday, Feb. 6.
Check the current avalanche conditions for the Front Range as well as across the state at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s website at avalanche.state.co.us.