DENVER (CBS4)– The backcountry skier who died in a New Year’s Eve avalanche had helped a woman after a snowslide last year.
George Dirth died on Parkview Mountain on Tuesday not far from Grand Lake. Dirth is from Fraser and was equipped with an avalanche beacon.
He was with two friends who used the beacon to track him down after the slide. They performed CPR but it was too late. All three were experienced backcountry travelers.
“The two skiers who were with him tried to assist him, were able to dig him out but unfortunately he succumbed to injuries,” said Grand County Search and Rescue spokesman Dave Batura.
Dirth posted videos online that showed how much at home he was in Colorado’s backcountry.
It was that passion that led to his death on New Year’s Eve after he triggered an avalanche.
Last year Dirth witnessed an avalanche give way on Berthoud Pass and called for help when he noticed a woman trapped on a cliff after she triggered the slide.
CBS4 talked to him after her rescue.
“Incredibly fortunate that she didn’t slide the rest of the way over the cliffs and that she was able to stop herself,” said Dirth.
The avalanche danger in Colorado’s high country is at a considerable level, about three on a scale of one to five. That’s the time when the Colorado Avalanche Information Center says most accidents happen.
Dirth’s death is a reminder that even the most experienced skier can be in danger.
“These avalanche chutes are good places to ski and these people have fun in them and we don’t want people to stop having fun in the backcountry but they need to be so cautious of the dangers that are there,” said Batura.