2 snowmobilers killed in avalanche east of Winter Park | SummitDaily.com

2 snowmobilers killed in avalanche east of Winter Park

Members of a motorized avalanche class were the first to respond to an avalanche that brought debris to Pumphouse Lake, about 6 miles east of Winter Park, on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023.
Mike Duffy/Avalanche1.com

GRAND COUNTY — Two snowmobilers were killed in an avalanche near Pumphouse Lake southwest of Rollins Pass on Saturday, Jan. 7, according to a preliminary report by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

The two were buried in a slide that was triggered by the snowmobiles around 2 p.m. Saturday, according to the report. Another group was in the area and located one of the riders with a transceiver. They performed CPR but were unable to revive the first rider, who was identified as a 58-year-old male from Northern Colorado in a news release from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.

The news release specified that the avalanche was reported as being on Corona Pass in the area of Mount Epworth and Deadman Lake. The area is not far from the location of an avalanche that killed a man on Feb. 14, 2021.

The first group on the scene was a motorized avalanche class, according to a Facebook post by Mike Duffy. Duffy’s post stated three riders were in the group that triggered the avalanche and that debris from the slide made it into Pumphouse Lake. He stated that students from the class had to jump into the water to uncover and remove the man with the transceiver. Duffy wrote that probe lines continued for over an hour and that debris was more than 15 feet deep in areas.

The avalanche report states the second rider was not wearing an avalanche transceiver — Grand County Sheriff’s deputies, members of Grand County Search and Rescue, and a Winter Park Ski Patrol dog team were not able to locate him before dark on Saturday but later recovered his body.

Responders withdrew from the area amid concerns about weather and safety on Saturday, but search and rescue teams returned to the area early on Sunday and found the second victim, according to the news release.

The site of avalanche which killed two men about 6 miles east of Winter Park, is pictured on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023.
Grand County Sheriff’s Office/Courtesy photo

Avalanche information center staff will publish a final report in the next week, according to the preliminary report.

The sheriff’s office, Grand County Search and Rescue and the Grand County Coroner’s Office have been in contact with the next of kin for both individuals, and the identities and cause of death for both men will be released by the coroner “when appropriate,” according to the news release.

“Unfortunately, this is the second fatal avalanche that we have experienced this season in Grand County,” said Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin in the news release. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims. We encourage those recreating in our backcountry to regularly monitor the conditions and follow the advice of our avalanche professionals at Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).” 

This story is from SkyHiNews.com.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.