Avalanche Buries Two, Kills One In Colorado

Excavators remove the snow on the site of an avalanche in 2018 in the Swiss Alps. (Photo: Fabrice Coffrini /AFP/Getty Images)

Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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Authorities reported that a snowboarder prompted an avalanche that killed one person and injured another on a Colorado backcountry slope Monday afternoon.

The avalanche struck four snowboarders near the Berthoud Pass summit located about an hour west of Denver at about 1:00 p.m. Monday, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC). (RELATED: Fake Video Of Avalanche Nearly Killing A Family Goes Viral On Twitter)

Two of the backcountry tourers were buried and two stayed on the surface in the area known as Nitro Chute that faces east at about 11,500 feet, according to the CAIC.

The tourers used avalanche transceivers to find the buried tourers. They then performed CPR on a 44-year-old buried man, but they could not resuscitate him, officials said. He was pronounced dead at the scene, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office announced on Facebook. The other buried person was breathing.

A snowboarder riding down the slope caused the avalanche, Brian Lazar, deputy director of CAIC, told the New York Post on Tuesday.

“Avalanches often occur when one layer breaks on top of another layer so that’s what happened here,” Lazar told the New York Post. “Sometimes avalanches will run spontaneously or we call them natural avalanches, they run all by themselves just from like a snowfall event, but often times a slope is just resting and waiting for something to come along and tip that balance, which is often a person. And so those are called human-triggered avalanches and that is what happened here.”