A group of people snowshoeing near Marble, Colorado triggered an avalanche that killed one person and two dogs, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).
Four people and two dogs were traveling to a home along “an unmaintained road” on Friday when the avalanche occurred, the agency said in a statement Saturday.
“Three of the people and both dogs moved to a road that cut mid-slope along the side of a steep gully. They triggered an avalanche and the moving snow pushed them down into the gully,” according to CAIC.
Two of the people were partially buried by snow and debris in the gully, but were able to free themselves, while one person and two dogs were buried and killed in the avalanche, CAIC noted.
The victim was a 27-year-old unidentified male from Denver whose body was found 1.5 meters deep in the avalanche path, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Several organizations were involved in the recovery effort, the office said. Mountain Rescue Aspen fielded 29 volunteers, West Elk Mountain Rescue fielded eight volunteers, Carbondale Rural Fire Protection District provided five members and CAIC fielded four members.
Local, county and state officials responded to the avalanche, which state officials estimate was approximately 50 feet wide and “ran 250 feet vertically,” the agency said.
The search teams assisted two people in the group out of the field Friday and then returned Saturday to retrieve the final group member and two dogs who were killed in the avalanche, according to CAIC.
Mountain Rescue Aspen “would like to remind backcountry travelers to be aware that smaller slopes have the potential to be hazardous,” the sheriff’s office said, adding that the organization is recommending that travelers carry avalanche rescue gear in unmanaged areas.