Sunday, 21 April 2013

Six snowboarders caught in massive Colorado avalanche; only one survivor

Six snowboarders caught in massive Colorado avalanche; only one survivor, Five of six snowboarders have died in a massive avalanche, officials confirmed Saturday afternoon (April 20).

Clear Creek County Sheriff Don Krueger said in a statement that the six snowboarders were caught in the avalanche at Loveland Pass between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. MDT. The condition of the lone survivor was not released.

The avalanche was 656 feet wide, 1,148 feet long and eight feet deep, Krueger said. He didn't know where the snowboarders were from and did not have their identities.

Recovery efforts were continuing as of late Saturday afternoon to retrieve the bodies of those buried under the snow.

U.S. Route 6 at Loveland Pass, elevation 11,990 feet, was closed shortly after the incident by the Colorado Department of Transportation as many skiers were headed home from nearby Arapahoe Basin ski resort.

A significant amount of new snow fell over the past week and has pushed the old snowpack towards the breaking point. The result are stubborn and hard to trigger avalanches, but once they break they are very large and destructive, said Spencer Logan with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

Colorado is historically the most dangerous state for avalanches, leading the nation nearly every year in avalanche-related fatalities.

Out of 24 U.S. avalanche deaths so far this season, 11 have been killed in the Colorado, according to

Just this past Thursday (April 18), a 38-year-old snowboarder died in an avalanche south of Vail Pass.

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