Two men died when they were struck by an avalanche in the north-central Rocky Mountains, Colorado authorities said Sunday.

The couple were snowmobiling Saturday when a snow wave hit them on the east face of Mount Epworth in Grand County, about 6 miles east of Winter Park, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

The avalanche was reported around 2:15 p.m., and sheriff’s deputies, search and rescue teams, ski patrol members, and local Good Samaritans immediately found one of the victims, a 58-year-old man. years from northern Colorado, buried in snow. the Grand County Sheriff’s Office said.

They were unable to revive him and he was pronounced dead at the scene, the sheriff’s office said in a statement. The county coroner is expected to reveal the man’s identity later, he said.

The other cyclist could not be located and first responders had to stop the search when the weather turned bad, the sheriff’s office said.

Rescuers, including members of the sheriff’s office, Grand County Search and Rescue, Grand County EMS Mountain Medical Response Team, Winter Park Ski Patrol, Flight for Life and the avalanche center, returned to discover the remains of the second victim shortly before 11:00. am Sunday, the sheriff’s office said.

The victim was identified only as a 52-year-old man, and the coroner is expected to release his name later. He was not wearing an avalanche transceiver, which made it difficult to recover him, authorities said.

The avalanche center said the 58-year-old man was found with the help of his transceiver, which is designed to transmit the location of lost or buried mountain visitors.

The National Weather Service reported high temperatures in the area below 30 degrees, with overnight lows in the single digits.

Sunday’s discovery means four people have been killed in avalanches in Colorado since Dec. 26, according to data from the avalanche center.

“We encourage those who recreate in our countryside to regularly monitor conditions and follow the advice of our avalanche professionals at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center,” Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said in a statement.

On New Year’s Eve, a father and his adult son were cross-country skiing when an avalanche hit them near Breckenridge Ski Resort, about 65 miles south of Winter Park.

The father was able to get out on his own, according to the Summit County Rescue Group, but his son was buried and his body was recovered approximately two hours later.

On December 26, four backcountry bikers, including skiers and snowboarders, were struck by an avalanche unintentionally set off by a snowboarder near Berthoud Pass, about 55 miles west of Denver, the avalanche center said. Two were buried, and one of those two died, he said.

The avalanche center said the riders were a father, who died, and his three teenage children. Authorities later identified the father as Brian Bunnell, 44, of Lakewood, Colorado, an NBC affiliate. KUSA of Denver reported.

The Rocky Mountains have been repeatedly buffeted by Pacific storms fed by an atmospheric river of precipitation drawn from tropical climates. The avalanche center said another such front was expected on Tuesday.

Snow can accumulate in areas favored by many backcountry skiers. The two fatal avalanches in December occurred in easily accessible areas, KUSA informed.

«Within the ski area limits, we have very dedicated ski patrols and snow safety teams that will work very hard to mitigate avalanche threats within the ski area limits,» said Brian Lazar, deputy director of the center. of avalanches, to the station last month. «Right on the other end of that rope there is no one doing that job.»

Seven of the 20 people caught in avalanches during the 2021-22 season died, according to the avalanche center.

erick mendoza contributed.

Por admin