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At Least 2 Dead in Colorado Avalanches

At Least 2 Dead in Colorado Avalanches

At Least 2 Dead in Colorado Avalanches

The latest deaths bring to nine the number killed by avalanches in the state this season.

By Sara Smart, CNN

(CNN) – At least two people died and four others were caught in two different avalanches in Colorado over the weekend, authorities said.

The first avalanche happened in the area of Rapid Creek near Marble, killing a 36-year-old man who was found Saturday buried in about four feet of snow, according to the Gunnison County Sheriff's Office.

Two other people – a skier and a splitboarder – were also caught in the avalanche but got out. The splitboarder was able to hike out to get help and the other skier was rescued by helicopter, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. Both were injured and transported for medical treatment, the sheriff's office said.

On Sunday afternoon, another person died in a “large avalanche” near the Aspen Highlands Ski Resort in Aspen, Colorado, a spokesperson with the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office told CNN.

The avalanche broke about 200 feet wide and ran about 2,000 feet, the avalanche center said.

Two other skiers were also caught in the avalanche but were able to free themselves. One was brought down safely by rescue teams on skis and the other was airlifted by helicopter, according to the sheriff's office.

The avalanche was triggered around 1:25 p.m. Sunday and happened in the Maroon Bowl area, a steep northwest-facing slope in Highland Peak, just outside the boundaries of the ski area of the Aspen Highlands resort.

The two deaths bring the total of avalanche-related deaths to nine for the 2022-2023 season in Colorado, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

In the US, an average of 27 people died in avalanches each winter over the last 10 winters, according to the center.

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