NewsLocal News


Vail resident identified as skier killed in avalanche at East Vail Chute Thursday

2-4-21 avalanche east vail skier dies.jpg
Posted at 11:29 AM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-08 13:20:13-05

EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. — The skier who died in an avalanche at the East Vail Chutes Thursday has been identified by the coroner's office as a 41-year-old man from Vail.

The Eagle County Coroner’s Office said they identified the man as John Kuo.

The cause and manner of his death remains under investigation, the coroner's office said.

The avalanche was reported around noon on Thursday at the East Vail Chutes, a part of the backcountry outside Vail Mountain's boundaries. Kuo had been skiing in an area known as Marvin’s when the avalanche occurred on an east-facing slope below treeline, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).

Vail Mountain Rescue Group and Vail Ski Patrol responded to the scene. Kuo was caught and despite his companions efforts to save him, he died.

Rescuers estimated that the avalanche was about 700 feet wide and ran 1,000 vertical feet, according to a preliminary report from CAIC.

This incident is the fourth avalanche-related death in four days in Colorado. Three men, all government officials in Eagle County, died Monday in an avalanche outside of Silverton.

As of Friday, eight people have died in avalanches in the 2020-2021 season in the state.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said on Thursday, the backcountry forecast in this area of Eagle County was "considerable," or level 3 of 5 for avalanche danger. This increased to "high" — level 4 of 5 — on Friday.

Several areas of the backcountry were under Avalanche Watches or Avalanche warnings on Thursday due to strong winds, new snow and weak snowpack. To learn more about current conditions in the backcountry, visit CAIC's website here.