Sean Crossen grew up on the East Coast as a ski racer. After graduating from Green Mountain Valley School in Vermont, Sean made his way to Gunnison to attend Western State College (as it was then known). Sean quit racing, but continued to ski and entered some of the first US Extreme Skiing Championships in the early 90's. By the early 2000's, Sean became an early pioneer of skiing Colorado's "Fourteeners", the 54 peaks that stand over 14,000' tall.
Sean used his art degree and had an art studio for a short time, though the majority of his income these days comes from painting houses. Recently, he built his own house in the Larkspur neighborhood- and we talk about that process in the interview.
The bulk of this interview, however, revolves around an avalanche accident that took place on February 3rd, 2017 outside Gothic, CO. This was a close call, and Sean discusses the events leading up to the avalanche, what he remembers while he was caught in the avalanche, and the subsequent rescue that took place. Even if you aren't a backcountry skier, there are lessons to be learned about first aid, search and rescue, and more. On a personal note, my wife and I purchased a Delorme InReach emergency beacon and took a Wilderness First Aid refresher course after Sean's accident. A special thanks to Sean for recounting his story in such detail.
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