Backcountry Skier Dies in Avalanche on Christmas Eve

Scenic views of ski runs and mountain along the continental divide. Tennessee Pass, Leadville, Colorado USA.
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This is the first avalanche death of the season in Colorado. There were 12 recorded fatalities last year, according to state data.

A backcountry skier was declared dead after the victim was found buried in the snow Friday in the aftermath of an avalanche, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

The avalanche occurred around 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve and the victim was found by his partner later that day on the southeast end of South Diamond Peak near Cameron Pass, according to reports. Parts of the Colorado high country remained under avalanche watch until Sunday morning.

"The victim's partner was able to locate him with a transceiver and probe pole and extricate him from the snow, but he did not survive. Search and Rescue personnel from Jackson County and the Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol recovered the victim's body after dark," the center wrote in a statement.

The nearly 150-foot wide avalanche reportedly broke on a "layer of faceted snow one to three feet below the snow surface" according to the report. It is the first avalanche to kill a skier in Colorado so far this season, according to the Denver Post. There were 12 recorded fatalities during the winter season last year, according to state data.


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