Joint Statement from Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo

and Mountain Rescue Aspen President Justin Hood


As the investigation continues into the tragic accident that took the life of a Mountain Rescue Aspen (MRA) member, both agencies have begun the process to determine how to safely and efficiently affect the recovery. It is with great sadness that we identify 57-year-old John Galvin, a Roaring Fork Valley resident and 30-year veteran of MRA as the individual killed in the avalanche in the Maroon Bowl on Sunday, April 8, 2018. This same avalanche injured Galvin’s skiing partner, who was able to call for assistance and successfully self-rescued. Avalanche conditions on Sunday, April 8, 2018, prevented recovery crews from entering the avalanche zone in the Maroon Bowl.


Moving forward, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office has requested the assistance of professional snow safety personnel from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) to participate in the recovery mission. CAIC personnel will work with Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol this week to provide snow safety assessments which will be used to determine the best time and date to recover Galvin’s body. Due to current conditions there will be no attempts to recover Galvin’s body Monday, April 9, 2018.


“John was a dedicated and professional public safety volunteer, who unselfishly

gave his time to our community over 30 years.” – Joe DiSalvo, Pitkin County Sheriff


As one can imagine, the members of both agencies, but specifically the all-volunteer rescuers from Mountain Rescue Aspen are particularly impacted by this loss. We wish to remind the public to heed the warnings of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center or professional snow safety resources in your state.


“John helped save lives of hundreds of visitors and locals who were in need while

injured or stranded in our mountains. John will be missed by all on our team and in our community.” – Justin Hood, MRA President


As is routine in search and rescue missions in Pitkin County, all media inquiries should be directed to Operations Commander Alex Burchetta with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 920-5310 or