One dead in Colorado’s first fatal avalanche of the season

December 27, 2022 GMT

WINTER PARK, Colo. (AP) — The day after Christmas, an avalanche at a mountain pass just west of Denver killed a 44-year-old man who was buried by the cascade, according to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.

The avalanche on Berthoud Pass, an over 11,000 feet (3,352 meters) in elevation gateway to Colorado’s Western Slope, killed the first person of the season following 19 avalanche deaths over the past two winters, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

The torrent of snow caught four people reported to be snowboarders by the avalanche agency, burying two of them just after midday, according to officials. Six agencies responded to the incident, including the emergency helicopter service Flight for Life.

Bystanders and family members rescued one of those stuck under the debris, but the second was pronounced dead at the scene after onlookers tried to perform lifesaving measures, the sheriff’s office said.

Officials have not identified the deceased man.

Photos posted by the sheriff’s office show the remnant rubble of an avalanche that surged down the rocky, snow-covered peak.