Snowboarders survive avalanche, then forced to fight off angry moose

A trio of snowboarders experienced a pretty interesting day of backcountry riding near the Aspen Highlands resort in Colorado on Monday. They had survived being swept up in an avalanche only to be forced to fend off a charging moose three times while attempting to hike to safety, according to The Aspen Times.

The incident was reported by Blase Reardon of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).

RELATED: Agitated moose charges snowboarders at Jackson Hole; video

In his report, Reardon notes that the unidentified snowboarders were riding in the Maroon Bowl backcountry area just beyond the boundaries of Aspen Highlands when the slide occurred around 10,650 feet above sea level and carried the riders a few hundred feet down the slope.

The slide partially buried two of the riders and pinned the third to a tree, breaking his rib and straining his back.

aspen avalanche
The location of the avalanche on Monday. Photo: Courtesy of the CAIC

From Reardon’s report:

From a phone conversation with the injured victim. A party of three snowboarders had been filming higher in the bowl, where there found 10″ or so of light new snow. They rode down the ridge and entered a slope where the snow felt heavier — maybe a little windloaded. They rode this slope at the same time. About 300 vertical feet below the ridge and just below a big tree that was near a convexity, the slope avalanched. It broke above them and all three were caught and carried several hundred feet down the slope.

…The party self-evacuated from there, which involved sideslipping, crawling on all fours, and pushing the injured victim while he lay on his board. At the snow-covered Maroon Creek road, Rider 1 went for help at the T Lazy Seven Ranch. While Riders 1 and 2 were waiting, they were charged by a moose. Three times. With help from the ranch, the party made it to their vehicle and drove themselves to Aspen Valley Hospital.