5 Caught in Colorado Avalanche Yesterday | 1 Still Missing

SnowBrains | | AvalancheAvalanche
Stock avalanche footage.
Stock avalanche footage.

Five snowmobilers were trapped in an avalanche at 10,500 feet in southwestern Colorado yesterday.  Four of the people caught were able to free themselves and are all in good condition.  One snowmobiler is still trapped under the snow.  It is unclear at this moment if any of these snowmobilers had avalanche equipment.

The avalanche was reportedly 150 yards wide and ended in a funnel that left snow up to 30 feet deep.

These snowmobilers were reportedly riding in the Sharkstooth area of the La Plata Mountains of Colorado when they avalanche struck.  They’d ridden out from Mancos, CO and had ridden 20 miles before the avalanche hit.

“They were so far back in there, we had to establish our command post 20 miles away and use cellphones on the tops of peaks to relay information.  There is nothing up there. Our radios didn’t even work back there.” – Montezuma County Undersheriff Lynda Carter

Ten rescuers with snowmobilers, dogs, and a helicopter were on the scene yesterday afternoon.  They were able to find a helmet and a snowmobile, but not the snowmobiler.  The rescue was called off due to darkness and has resumed this morning.

“We were able to probe down 8 to 10 feet in what is 30 feet of snow.  We found his sled and his helmet, but he wasn’t in it.” – Montezuma County Undersheriff Lynda Carter

Unfortunately, this trapped snowmobiler is most likely no longer alive.  So far this winter, there have been 19 avalanche fatalities in the USA.  13 of those deaths have occurred since February 8th, 2014.

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