Colorado authorities have identified the man killed Sunday in a massive avalanche just outside the Aspen Highlands Ski Area as 54-year-old Gabor Házas from Budapest, Hungary.
Hazas was skiing out of bounds in the Maroon Bowl area just before 1:30 p.m. when he was caught in the avalanche, according to a report released Tuesday from the Pitkin County Coroner’s Office.
The avalanche broke from the upper face of a loaded slope and exploded downward 2,000 feet, Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office officials said. Two other skiers caught up in the avalanche managed to escape and were rescued, one by helicopter.
Mountain Rescue Aspen crew members, with help from a helicopter and flight crew from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, recovered the body of Házas. Coroner’s officials called the death accidental with the cause of death to be confirmed in an autopsy.
This fatality raised the total number of avalanche fatalities in Colorado this past winter to nine. Last weekend, heavy snow in the high mountain backcountry contributed to avalanches that swept up at least 11 skiers, burying two and leading to two deaths.