A Vail avalanche on Tuesday claimed the life of 24-year-old Tony Seibert, the grandson of the Pete Seibert – founder of the Vail Mountain ski resort. Three others suffered minor injuries when a large avalanche swept the men down a mountain near the resort, reports Reuters via Yahoo! News on Wednesday.
The four men were skiing and snowboarding in the “backcountry” – the area outside the ski boundaries of Vail Mountain in Eagle County, Colorado.
“He was always an uplifting person and cheerful,” said Seibert's longtime friend Scott Klumb, who posted a tribute video online a few hours after Seibert’s death. “He was always goofing around or getting other people excited and just making them happy.”
The other three men were trapped in the snow that fell from the avalanche, though only temporarily. All were rescued without major injuries and none needed medical treatment.
According to the Eagle County Sheriff's Office, the avalanche occurred around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday in the East Vail Chutes.
Vail resort's master development plan calls the Chutes “an extremely steep, avalanche-prone bowl that drains down to Interstate 70 or to East Vail.”
Ethan Greene of the state-run Colorado Avalanche Information Center said that this area of the mountain is not patrolled or groomed for avalanche control.
"This (avalanche) was most likely triggered by the people who got caught in it," Greene said. "Today was apparently a beautiful day up in Vail, and therefore would be an appealing day to be out in the backcountry."