Colorado’s first-ever criminal charges following an avalanche could be slippery slope for backcountry travelers
Two snowboarders reported the avalanche they caused in March above the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels and cooperated with the investigation. Now, their statements and helmet-cam video are being used against them.
"We called the authorities in on ourselves. We handled it in a professional manner and tried to be as professional as we could be when a mistake was made,” said Hannibal, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician in Vail who has been snowboarding in Colorado’s backcountry for more than a decade. “I think the backcountry community should be worried about the repercussions here when you report an avalanche and tell the truth and get charged with a crime.”