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1 snowmobiler dead, 1 rescued after Colorado avalanche

A snowmobiler was found dead after he and another man, reportedly his brother, were caught in an avalanche in northwestern Colorado, authorities said Monday.
/ Source: staff and news service reports

A snowmobiler was found dead after he and another man, reportedly his brother, were caught in an avalanche in northwestern Colorado, authorities said Monday.

The second man was found alive in a snow cave by their father, Steamboat Today newspaper reported, during an exhaustive search Monday.

Missi White, spokeswoman for Jackson County Search and Rescue, said the rescued man was taken to a local hospital.

White said she had no further information on the snowmobiler who was found dead following the search.

The two snowmobilers, who were not immediately identified by authorities, went missing Saturday in a snowslide at 10,180-foot Buffalo Pass.

Keen outdoorsmen
Citing friends and family, the Steamboat Today newspaper said that the two men were brothers, who were auto mechanics in their 20s from Fort Collins.

The paper said they were keen snowmobilers, hunters and outdoorsmen.

It said their father found one brother alive in the snow cave and a search helicopter then spotted them form the air.

Steamboat Today said the brothers were among a larger group of snowmobilers from Fort Collins.

It reported that after a call for help was made Saturday evening, rescuers contacted everyone apart from the brothers.

However, members of the group told the rescuers that the two men had reported they were safe, Steamboat Today said, and the search for them did not start until noon Sunday when one of the men called 911.

Colo. avalanche death toll at 4
The Denver Post reported that this latest death meant four people had now been killed in avalanches in the state this ski season.

The incident followed a weekend in which two skiers were killed in avalanches at separate Colorado ski resorts over the weekend.

Three juveniles on Vail Mountain were skiing in an area closed off due to the avalanche danger when the trio triggered an avalanche on Sunday, said Jesse Mosher, spokeswoman for the Eagle County Sheriff's Office.

Taft Conlon, 13, died from chest injuries he suffered in the slide, Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis said.

The other two juveniles were not seriously injured.

At the Winter Park ski resort northwest of Denver, a 28-year-old man was reported missing by his skiing partners late on Sunday afternoon, resort spokeswoman Mistalynn Lee said.

The ski patrol located the man, who was "unresponsive," on an expert ski trail. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, Lee said.

Dangerous conditions
Grand County Coroner Brenda Bock identified the dead man as Christopher Norris of Evergreen, Colorado. Bock said an autopsy concluded that he died of asphyxiation.

The Denver Post said Keith Ames, of Aspen on Burnt Mountain in Pitkin County, died in an avalanche on Wednesday.

Brian Lazar, deputy director of the Colorado Avalanche Center, said a thin early winter snowpack combined with recent heavy snowfalls and high winds on Colorado slopes had created the dangerous conditions.

The risk of a natural avalanche lessened on Monday, he said, but human-triggered slides are likely.

Any snow-covered slope of 30 degrees or steeper is prone to avalanches, Lazar said, adding, "If you are venturing into the backcountry, choose your route carefully."

A Pacific storm moving into the Rockies on Monday will bring more snow, but forecasts are for light accumulations which shouldn't elevate the avalanche risk, Lazar said.