It is with great sadness that I report the passing of our good friend Ralph Eberspacher. Ralph was backcountry skiing on Christmas Eve when he was caught in an avalanche on Cameron Pass. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center report is below.
Ralph was an experienced backcountry skier and a loved, and very active member of the local cycling community. Ralph moved to Fort Collins in the late 80s via Durango after attending Fort Lewis College. Along with a core group of friends, he started the Northern Colorado Grassroots Riders (NCGR) cycling team over 25 years ago. Ralph was previously employed in the local bike industry and he made lifelong friends everywhere he worked. Ralph was also a regular at nearly every local bike event with a beer in hand and a smile on his face.
My thoughts are with everyone that knew Ralph, especially his close friends and family and the entire NCGR crew.
Information on his celebration of life and full obituary will be posted here when they're available.
Be sure to hold your loved ones tight today.
"Ride on Ralph"
Colorado Avalanche Information Center report:
A backcountry skier was caught, fully buried, and killed in an avalanche on December 24. The accident happened on a east-facing slope below treeline on the southeast end of South Diamond Peak near Cameron Pass in the Front Range zone. The avalanche broke on a layer of faceted snow one to three feet below the snow surface, and was about 150 feet wide. The avalanche crown was on a convex roll where the slope angle steepened to about 38 degrees.
The victim's partner was able to locate him with a transceiver and probe pole and extricate him from the snow, but he did not survive. Search and Rescue personnel from Jackson County and the Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol recovered the victim's body after dark. CAIC forecasters will visit the accident site on Saturday. We will update this report as more information becomes available.