The University of Northern Colorado confirmed the death of Nick Feinstein in a statement on Sunday, one day after the 22-year-old and his father Andy Feinstein were buried when the avalanche struck an area called The Numbers outside the Breckenridge Ski Resort.
Andy Feinstein is president of the university in Greeley.
According to a statement shared by the Summit County Rescue Group on Facebook, the avalanche descended at approximately 1pm on Saturday (31 December), fully burying Nick Feinstein and partially burying his father, who was able to dig himself out.
Andy Feinstein skied to an area with cell service and called 911 at around 1.40pm. A team of more than twenty people arrived to help, but the son was found deceased at 3.11pm.
Nick Feinstein’s parents spoke to the Greeley Tribune about the tragedy on Monday, describing their son as an expert skier who has been on the slopes since he was five years old.
Andy Feinstein said the avalanche came on suddenly: “One minute I was skiing and enjoying the powder, and the next minute I was riding what looked like a violent wave of whitewash.”
He said didn’t know how he survived after being buried over his head.
“I literally had to use my fingertips to dig out a pocket for me to see light and to dig out,” he said.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center was slated to complete an accident investigation on 1 January 2023.
“Our deepest condolences to all those affected by this tragedy,” the Summit County Rescue Group concluded in their statement.
Sadly, this was not the first avalanche fatality during the 2022-2023 season. Thus far, a snowmobiler and a snowboarder have also been killed in Montana and Colorado respectively, per the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
In the 2021-2022 season, there were 17 fatalities from avalanches in the US.