Skier dies in avalanche near Silverton |

Skier dies in avalanche near Silverton

Skier died in trees at 11,200 feet off Red Mountain Pass in the San Juan Mountains near Silverton

By Bruce Finley / The Denver Post

A backcountry skier died in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado off Red Mountain Pass near Silverton on Sunday after an avalanche ripped down through a couloir and into a gully.

The skier was “caught, killed” while sliding in an area known as Sam’s Trees, at about 11,200 feet elevation, according to a bulletin from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

CAIC staff had visited the site but provided few details. The bulletin said CAIC would put out a report this week.

San Miguel County Search and Rescue crew members issued a notice calling this Colorado’s first avalanche fatality of 2018 and urging backcountry travelers to be vigilant. More than 20 inches of snow fell within 24 hours in the northern San Juan Mountains. Such conditions make it more likely than usual that people in the backcountry will trigger an avalanche.

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