A skier was killed Friday in a backcountry avalanche west of Crested Butte while skiing in the Anthracite Range, according to a report from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
The skier, whose name has not been released, was in the northeast end of the area known as the Friendly Finish when the avalanche occurred.
The victim was skiing alone, but before descending, spoke to two other skiers about how they planned to go down. After the two made their descent, they found the victim’s snowmobile still parked, the report stated. They then saw the avalanche where the victim had told them he planned to descend.
The pair found the victim with a transceiver search and were able to pull the skier out of the avalanche, with help from local volunteers and Crested Butte Search and Rescue, but the victim did not survive.
“Our sincere condolences to all the friends and family of the victim,” the CAIC stated.
Friday’s death is the first fatal avalanche casualty in the state this season.
The CAIC warned skiers on Friday to be careful if they planned to go into the backcountry over the weekend because of dangerous avalanche conditions across the state.
“In the last 7 days between December 11 and December 18, the CAIC has received reports of over 460 avalanches,” the group posted on Facebook. “Around 110 of those avalanches were human triggered. We know about 4 people who were caught in avalanches. One of those people was almost completely buried, 1 was seriously injured, and 1 person was killed.”
For forecast conditions, go to avalanche.state.co.us. CAIC also recommending remaining in terrain with a slope angle less than 30 degrees without steep slopes above.
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