The woman's death marks the first person to be killed by an avalanche in Colorado this season

By Georgia Slater
December 10, 2019 11:41 AM
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A 29-year-old backcountry skier was buried and killed in a Colorado avalanche Sunday, marking the state’s first avalanche-related death of the 2019-2020 season.

At around 2:30 p.m. local time, the woman, who has since been identified as a Fort Collins, Colorado, resident, was caught in an avalanche that ran nearly 425 vertical feet while skiing at south Diamond Peak near Rocky Mountain National Park, according to the accident report.

After she was buried by the slide, a member of her party along with help from others in the area performed a rescue and called for help. They were able to remove her from the snow, however, she was not breathing and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the mountain around 2:45 p.m. where they recovered the woman’s body from the slope, according to a media release.

Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Forecasters from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center visited the site the following day and reported that the slide was approximately 285 feet wide at the crown face and 375 feet wide at the toe.

They additionally found several weak layers and noticed that the avalanche had “stepped down to the ground in the thinner areas.”

“Our deepest condolences go out to the friends and family of the deceased, and to everyone affected by this accident,” the CAIC wrote in the report.

The cause and nature of the woman’s death will be announced later by the Larimer County Coroner’s Office, along with her identity.

While the accident marks the first death by an avalanche in Colorado this season, there have been an additional 185 avalanches reported during the period of Nov. 25 through Dec. 2, the CAIC shared.

Though no one was killed, 75 of the slides were large enough to bury a person, and six people were partially buried in the avalanches during this time.