Man Dies in Colo. Avalanche While Skiing with His Father, Who Freed Himself from Snow and Survived

1 person reported dead following avalanche in Breckenridge
1 person reported dead following avalanche in Breckenridge

Summit County Rescue Group Facebook Fatal avalanche in Breckenridge, Colo.

An unidentified man who was out backcountry skiing in Breckenridge, Colorado, on Saturday was killed in an avalanche — but his father managed to survive the ordeal — according to a local volunteer rescue group that responded to the scene.

The nonprofit Summit County Rescue Group described the event in a statement, writing that their rescue team was called out to help following a backcountry avalanche with "confirmed burials" around 2:05 p.m. on Saturday.

The father-and-son skiers had been caught in an avalanche about an hour before, "with the father partially buried and the son fully buried," the statement said.

Though the elder man was able to dig himself out of the snow, he had to ski out of the vicinity to get cell reception, and he called for help around 1:40 pm.

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A variety of teams including the Breckenridge Ski Patrol and the Sheriff's Office also responded for the search and rescue efforts, according to the rescue group statement, but the younger man was found deceased by a team of search dogs shortly after 3 p.m.

This wasn't the only fatal avalanche over the holiday weekend. In Montana on Saturday, two unidentified snowmobilers were buried as they were moving uphill north of Cooke City, Montana, according to a report from the Associated Press. One of the riders died after being covered in about five feet of snow. The body wasn't found until about an hour later.

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The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said these incidents were the second and third nation-wide avalanche-related deaths this winter, according to the AP.

The Summit County Rescue Group urges people heading into backcountry mountain terrain to make sure they have proper training and equipment before taking the risk.

"Skiers and riders heading into the backcountry should be experienced and knowledgeable about backcountry travel, as well as prepared with a transceiver, probe and shovel," the group noted.