Grandson of Vail's founder killed in avalanche

One person was killed and three injured in an avalanche on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, in the East Vail Chutes in the back country outside of Vail Mountain’s ski boundary near Vail, Colo. Eagle County Sheriff/AP

VAIL, Colo. - The grandson of Vail's founder was killed and three other people were injured Tuesday in an avalanche near the ski resort, authorities said.

Anthony Seibert, 24, was killed in the slide in the backcountry near Vail, Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis said. She said Seibert is the grandson of Peter Seibert, who along with Earl Eaton is widely credited with finding the terrain that would later become Vail Mountain.

The three others who were injured were expected to recover from their injuries. Their names weren't released.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Jessie Mosher said the slide happened at around 11:30 a.m. in East Vail Chutes, an area between Vail Mountain and Vail Pass.

"This is a shocking and terrible tragedy. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to Tony's entire family," Chris Jarnot, vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain said in a statement obtained by CBS Denver.

"I want to acknowledge how integral the Seibert family is to the fabric of out community; their contributions to Vail date back to Vail founder Peter Seibert, Tony's grandfather. This is an incomprehensible loss and we will support the Seibert family and our community through this difficutl time," he said. 

The death is the fifth in the Rocky Mountain region and the second in Colorado in the last two weeks.

The avalanche danger where the latest deadly slide occurred is rated as considerable at or above the tree line for two main reasons. New snow over the weekend was pushed into slabs by wind, and those more cohesive layers of snow are resting on top of the relatively weak early season snowfall, said Spencer Logan of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. The combination of a weak base layer under cohesive slabs tends to create slides that break in very wide pieces.

Such dangerous conditions are possible each winter, but last year they didn't develop until late January because significant snowfall didn't develop until later in the season, Logan said.

East Vail Chutes has had a series of slides in the last few weeks, including one that trapped a skier. A popular YouTube video shows Edwin LaMair trapped up to his neck before his brother and a friend dug him out.


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