This week’s newspaper features two perspectives on the danger of avalanches from different decades — a fitting bit of content for a snowy week.

On pages 10, 11 and 14, you will find a reprint of an article published in the Herald on January 22, 1962, the day after an avalanche slid down Mount Elbert, crashing into the outskirts of Twin Lakes. The slide killed seven people, five of whom were children, and destroyed four homes.

Over 700 people flocked to Twin Lakes to help with the rescue effort. The rescue volunteers searched the extensive avalanche debris with 1960s-era shovels and probes, rescue gear that, by the looks of it, was much larger and heavier than what we use today.

On pages 1-2, we explore avalanche rescue in the modern era. The world now has access to light rescue gear, electronic avalanche transceivers and educational opportunities on avalanche rescue and snow science.

But avalanche deaths persist. As of March 16, the United States had tallied 33 avalanche fatalities this season, the highest death toll since the winter of 2013-2014. And 11 of this year’s fatal avalanche accidents took place in Colorado, more than any other state.

Avalanches are a reality of living and recreating in the high country. We hope this edition reminds readers of their power.

Farewell to Sean

The Herald said goodbye to our reporter, Sean Summers, earlier this week.

Sean joined the newspaper a few weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Lake County. They quickly adapted to conducting much reporting remotely, attending countless virtual meetings and phone interviews with sources Sean never had the chance to meet in person.

Though 2020 presented a multitude of challenges for the Herald and reporters across the nation, Sean persisted. They provided accurate and diverse coverage of Lake County’s many beats, as well as a long-term series on the history of the original peoples of the High Rockies.

We are grateful for Sean’s hardwork and adaptability in the craziest of years. We wish them the best of luck in future endeavors, hopefully in public radio or photojournalism!

Hello to Patrick

The Herald is excited to welcome Patrick Bilow to our team next week as the newspaper’s new reporter.

Patrick is a recent graduate of Temple University where he studied journalism and English. During his time at Temple, Patrick worked as a copy editor for the university’s newspaper and interned for The Philadelphia Citizen and Philadelphia Magazine.

Patrick moved to Cloud City from Denver, where he spent much of 2020. He looks forward to working at a hyper-local newspaper and exploring Lake County’s mountain bike trails and backcountry ski routes. Originally from Upstate New York, Patrick has assured us that he is no stranger to winter!

February and March marked busy months of transition for the Herald. We look forward to regaining a sense of normalcy within our staff and continuing to publish a newspaper we are proud of each week.

Rachel Woolworth

Herald Editor

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