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University of Northern Colorado president Andy Feinstein's son, Nick, dies in backcountry avalanche in Breckenridge

Officials hope to eliminate avalanche deaths in Colorado
Officials hope to eliminate avalanche deaths in Colorado 03:18

University of Northern Colorado confirmed the university president's son died when they were both skiing during a backcountry avalanche in Breckenridge on the afternoon of New Year's Eve.  

On Saturday, 22-year-old Nick Feinstein died when he and his father, UNC President Andrew "Andy" Feinstein, were caught during an avalanche outside the Breckenridge ski resort boundary.

"Our thoughts are with the entire Feinstein family at this incredibly difficult time," Chief of Staff Jennifer Almquist shared in an email statement to CBS News Colorado. "President Feinstein and his family are back home in Greeley."


Summit County Rescue Group, Summit County Sheriff's Office Special Operations Unit and Breckenridge Ski Resort ski patrol all responded to the call for help on the day of the avalanche. According to the group's Facebook post and based on UNC confirmation, Andy and Nick were caught in the avalanche in a backcountry area called "The Numbers" at about 1 p.m. Nick was completely buried, while the UNC president was able to dig himself out and call 911 for emergency help. 

Onsite command confirmed a dog team found Nick just after 3 p.m., but he had died, and he was taken to Breckenridge Mountain Clinic afterward.

Colorado Avalanche Information Center went back to investigate the site on New Year's Day, and it's expected to share a final report in the next week.  

Just days before this accident, experienced backcountry rider Brian Bunnell was killed in an avalanche at Berthoud Pass on Dec. 26 while snowboarding with his three sons. His death was recorded as the first avalanche fatality of the season.

RELATED: Family of season's first avalanche victim asks for donations to research and rescue organizations

Additional Resources

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center's website "provides avalanche safety information, education and promotes research to help people reduce their risk from avalanches."

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