Three skiers are missing after getting caught in an avalanche Monday in Colorado, according to a preliminary report from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).
The trio was traveling as part of a group of 7 near an area known locally as ‘The Nose’, according to the report. The group, however, triggered “a large avalanche” between the towns of Silverton and Ophir, according to CAIC. Four of the group members were “caught, carried, and fully buried in the debris.” The rest of the group was able to recover one person who sustained minor injuries.
Three other members, however, are still missing. (RELATED: Missing 17-Year-Old Built Snowcave To Survive Until Rescuers Arrived)
Search and rescue operations continued through Tuesday but were suspended Tuesday evening due to an avalanche hazard, CAIC said, noting efforts will pick back up once rescuers determine it is safe to return to the site.
While the recovery mission has been suspended, “the identity of the three skiers is still pending per San Juan County Coroner’s Office investigation,” the San Juan County Office of Emergency Management wrote on Facebook.
“Avalanche danger in the backcountry is always unpredictable regardless of your avalanche knowledge and skills. It is critical to check the avalanche forecast and avalanche danger prior to venturing into the backcountry,” the post continued.