Mountain Rescue veteran John Galvin identified as avalanche victim

Apr 9, 2018

Amanda Boxtel rides on the back of John Galvin's snowmobile into the Aspen backcountry. Galvin was identified as the skier killed in an avalanche on Maroon Bowl on Sunday.
Credit Courtesy of Amanda Boxtel

UPDATE: Tuesday, April 10, 10:07 a.m.

An 11-member rescue team successfully recovered the body of John Galvin, who was killed in an avalanche on Maroon Bowl on Sunday.

Mountain Rescue Aspen was assisted by snow-safety officers from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center who helped determine that conditions were safe enough early Tuesday for a four-member team to be brought into the field via helicopter. An additional six members were positioned on top of Highlands to spot for slides and act as back up responders, if needed. Galvin was himself a veteran rescue leader with MRA. The headquarters on Highway 82 were full of friends and colleagues during the mission Tuesday morning.


Earlier: The skier killed in an avalanche in Maroon Bowl on Sunday has been identified as John Galvin, a veteran rescue leader for Mountain Rescue Aspen.

Galvin was a 30-year veteran of the all-volunteer organization, which is reeling from the loss.


“John is a tremendous force within the team," said Justin Hood, president of Mountain Rescue Aspen. "We’ve been so sad because this guy’s been such a mentor for so many people."


Others in the community praised Galvin’s kindness and dedication to public safety. Amanda Boxtel remembers when Galvin took her into the Aspen backcountry on a snowmobile. Boxtel has been paralyzed for decades, but because of Mountain Rescue Aspen volunteers, was able to access the remote wilderness.


“I just know him as this selfless, kind man, who stepped up to help another," Boxtel said. "He just gave of himself to help me.”


Avalanche danger and weather conditions have prevented crews from attempting to recover Galvin’s body. Experts at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center and Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol are assessing conditions and working with the sheriff’s department to determine when it will be safe to begin recovery efforts.