Skier killed in avalanche near Breckenridge

A solo skier was killed in an avalanche near Breckenridge Saturday, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

A 31-year-old man was caught, buried and killed in a “small but long-running” avalanche Saturday on Bald Mountain near Breckenridge, according to the center and the Summit County Rescue Group. The rescue group recovered the man’s body early Sunday morning, they said in a news release. He has not been publicly identified.

The man’s girlfriend reported him missing Saturday afternoon after he failed to answer her calls by the time he should have returned from skiing a northeast-facing couloir on the mountain, the rescue group said.

After a helicopter crew spotted avalanche debris in the area, two rescue team members skied out to the site and located the man’s body at about 11 p.m. by following his avalanche transceiver signal. The man was buried about 22 inches below the surface, according to the rescue group. The rescue team brought the man’s body off the mountain in a toboggan.

The avalanche happened at an elevation of about 13,000 feet, according to the avalanche center, which said it would publish more details about the incident after visiting the site on Sunday.

The skier is the 11th person to be killed in avalanches in Colorado this ski season, according to the center. Another 16 people were caught in avalanches but survived.

The center on Sunday also published a video of a snowboarder on Mount Quandary who was caught in a similar avalanche on Saturday but was not buried and escaped uninjured.

“While most of these avalanches will be small in size and only several inches deep, in continuously steep terrain, a ride in one could produce a very bad outcome,” the post on Facebook warned.

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