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Slide kills Durango man
From Silverton Standard, the place where you can write!
Posted on January 25 2018, 11:42am by Mark Esper in Local News category



A 27-year-old Durango man became the state’s first avalanche fatality this winter on Sunday afternoon, after being buried in a slide near Chattanooga.

San Juan County coroner Keri Metzler said Abel Palmer, 27, was apparently skiing with a buddy in an area known as Sam’s Trees, just south of Chattanooga, west of U.S. 550, when the slide occurred.

The slide, apparently triggered by Palmer, occurred at 1:13 p.m.

Metzler said Palmer’s companion yelled for help and other backcountry skiers in the area joined in the effort to dig Palmer out.

“There are conflicting reports,” Metzler said. “One said he was a foot deep and one said four feet deep.”

She said the pit that was dug to free Palmer ended up being about four feet deep.

The area is out of cell phone range and the incident wasn’t reported for another hour.

“The page went out at 2:20 p.m.,” Metzler said.

She said those on the scene performed CPR for “a long, long, long time” but were unable to revive Palmer.

An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday morning in Durango, Metzler said.

Dangerous avalanche conditions persist on steep, shady slopes in the San Juans, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.


a potentially lethal avalanche on north-facing slopes steeper than around 35 degrees, where a slab from the recent storm snow rests on top of weak fragile snow near the ground. You can greatly reduce your risk by avoiding these slopes today.



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