Two die in separate Colorado avalanches on Valentine’s Day

A snowboarder was caught in an avalanche Sunday morning near the Loveland Pass ski area CAIC website shows.

The snowboarder was traveling in a backcountry area about 50 miles west of Denver when the avalanche hit about 1 p.m. 9:30 local time (11 ET).

The avalanche ran on an east-facing slope east of Mount Trelease at an altitude of over 12,000 feet, according to the preliminary report from CAIC.

Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office told CNN affiliated with KCNC that the victim was a 57-year-old man from nearby St. Mary’s, Colorado.

Search and rescue personnel found the victim buried in avalanche debris, according to CAIC.

About 50 miles north, a snowmobile was caught and killed in another avalanche west of Rollins Pass on Mount Epworth on Sunday, CAIC reported.

The avalanche occurred on an east-facing, over the slope of the tree line and buried the snowmobile under his sleigh on Pumphouse Lake.

Colorado has seen six avalanche deaths this month alone, a total of ten this season, more than any other state according to CAIC numbers.

In December, three backcountry skiers were killed in two separate avalanches a day a lot.

Three men, all local officials from Eagle County, Colorado, was killed in an avalanche near Ophir on the first of the month, CNN reported earlier.
Two skiers were caught in an avalanche near Vail a few days later, where one dug out and the other died, according to CAIC.
How To Avoid Avalanches And What To Do If You Are Trapped In One
Fatal avalanches have also been reported in six other states, including a Washington State Trooper who was killed while snowmobiling in Kittitas County, Washington last week and four backcountry skiers who was captured and killed in Utah earlier this month.

Nikki Champion, a prediction at the Utah Avalanche Center, told CNN earlier this month that the deadly season could be the result of two reasons – people enjoying more time outdoors and a “really dangerous snow package.”

This year’s avalanche season has likely been more active due to a “persistently weak layer” of snow, she said.

CNN’s Keith Allen contributed to this report.

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