Ski patrolling is the most dangerous job in the snow industry. Every morning, after every big storm, these men and women travel out into avalanche terrain—the 37 to 47-degree slopes where powder skiing is the most fun—in search of the white dragon. They do everything they can to bring down the mountain side, and when it doesn’t go—when it’s deemed safe—they drop the rope and let us have our way with it. Anyone who has ever had the stress free joy of an untouched inbounds run knows that this job can’t be appreciated enough.
On March 4, while conducting an exploration mission on Conejos Peak in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, Senior Ski Patroller and Avalanche Technician for Wolf Creek Ski Area Colin Sutton lost his life in an avalanche. Below is the release sent out by Wolf Creek. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
On Tuesday, March 4th, Wolf Creek Ski Area Avalanche Technician and Senior Patroller Colin Sutton was caught in an avalanche while conducting an exploration and research mission via helicopter on Conejos Peak in the South San Juan Mountain Range. He was airlifted by a Medevac helicopter to the emergency room at Mercy Regional Hospital in Durango, Colorado where he was pronounced deceased at 4:30 PM.
Colin was a full time professional ski patroller at Wolf Creek Ski Area for 12 years where he continuously excelled in his work. Colin was a National Ski Patrol Member, Basic Life Support and CPR Provider, Outdoor Emergency Care Provider, Certified Emergency Medical Technician, Certified Level III Avalanche Technician, State of Colorado Type I Explosives Permit Possessor, Snow Study Director at Wolf Creek Ski Area (AvTech), and a Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment Qualified Dog Handler with his black Labrador “Boca.”
Colin began skiing at Wolf Creek when he was three years old and his passion for the mountains took him around the world. He will be missed deeply by all of us at Wolf Creek Ski Area.
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