One snowmobiler died while another one is missing after an avalanche on the Corona Pass near the Town of Winter Park in Grand County, Colorado on Saturday (January 7). According to a statement issued by the sheriff’s office, initial reports said that two snowmobilers were buried in the avalanche. “Emergency responders with the assistance of citizens in the area were able to recover one of the individuals, who was identified as a 58-year-old male from Northern Colorado,” the sheriff’s office said on Saturday.
It added that despite emergency resuscitation efforts, the man was pronounced dead on the scene and was transferred to the Grand County Coroner’s Office. The second snowmobiler, also a male, remains buried as responders were unable to locate him and were forced to retreat from the area due to weather and safety concerns.
The sheriff’s office said in the statement that rescue teams would be returning to the area on Sunday to continue the rescue efforts. However, there is no update on this yet.
Meanwhile, the sheriff’s office, the Grand County Search and Rescue and the coroner’s office are in contact with the families of both men and are providing support.
Saturday’s also said the 58-year-old man’s identity and cause and manner of death will be released at an appropriate time.
Reacting to the incident, Grand County sheriff Brett Schroetlin said, “Unfortunately, this is the second fatal avalanche that we have experienced this season in Grand County. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims.” Schroetlin urged that those recreating in the backcountry should regularly monitor conditions and follow the advice of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. (CAIC).
#CAICcmountains CON(3of5) The most dangerous areas, where you can trigger a large avalanche, are where the snowpack is more shallow in the Sawatch and around the Aspen resorts and Crested Butte. Avoid traveling on or under steep slopes in areas of concern. https://t.co/E7yJWqyZwj— CAIC:Statewide Info (@COAvalancheInfo) January 7, 2023
As per the avalanche Centre’s data, there have been three deaths in Colorado avalanches since December 26 last year and two of these have been from Grand County, NBC News reported on Sunday.
In a series of tweets, the CAIC on Saturday cautioned people regarding avalanches. “The most dangerous areas, where you can trigger a large avalanche, are where the snowpack is more shallow in the Sawatch and around the Aspen resorts and Crested Butte. Avoid travelling on or under steep slopes in areas of concern,” the CAIC tweeted.
“You can trigger avalanches on many slopes. Shallow areas are the most likely place to trigger large avalanches. Small slides in recent snow can trigger larger slides. Stick to slopes less than about 30 degrees for safer riding,” the Centre added.