Mountain Post loses member in avalanche
FORT CARSON, Colo.-Kellen Sams, pictured here at one of the many outdoor adventure programs he led for Fort Carson Outdoor Rec, was killed in an avalanche accident Feb. 11.

FORT CARSON, Colo.---Kellen Sams, 27, died in an avalanche incident Feb. 11 while skiing the back country in southwestern Colorado, south of the San Juan Mountains near Ridgeway. Sams was a recreation aide in Fort Carson's Outdoor Recreation's Adventure Programs and Education.

Previously, Sams served the post as an Outdoor Recreation intern in 2006 while completing his studies at Mountain College in Poultney, Vt.

Later, Sams worked for Outward Bound, teaching outdoor skills and later worked in Crested Butte, teaching adaptive skiing programs for special-needs skiers, before joining the Outdoor Recreation staff about 18 months ago.

Sams was on a private outdoor adventure during his off time, doing the kind of thing he was often doing - the things he loved to do, said Eric Hill, Outdoor Recreation director. He took full advantage of his time off, spending his time in the outdoors.

Sams was primarily involved in teaching rock climbing but also was also a white-water rafting guide and led backcountry skiing for Outdoor Rec, where "he touched a lot of (Fort Carson) people," said Hill.

"Kellen lived a short life, but it was definitely a full life," Hill said. "He was always doing something outdoors.

"He was a great guy. He had a way of relating to people and being able to instruct so they could understand. His loss leaves a big hole in our program."

A memorial service for Sams was held Monday at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

Page last updated Thu February 18th, 2010 at 17:13