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5 killed in avalanche in CO


New member
Mar 26, 2011
Summit County
The five snowboarders killed in an avalanche northeast of Loveland Pass Saturday have been identified as Chris Peters, 32, from Lakewood, Joe Timlin, 32 of Gypsum, Ryan Novack, 33, of Boulder, Ian Lanphere, 36, of Crested Butte, and Rick (or Rich) Gaukel, 33, of Estes Park.
Gaukel was with the American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education, ABC News reported.
It was the deadliest avalanche accident in Colorado since 1962.
A group of six people were snowboarding in the backcountry when they apparently triggered the slide, said Clear Creek County Sheriff Don Krueger.
A man in the group snowboarded to the side of the avalanche and was partially buried. He was able to dig out and call for help.
If it wasn't for that lone survivor, nobody would have known about the group being trapped in the avalanche until hours later, when someone would have reported them missing when they didn't return home Saturday night, Krueger said.
The snow slide occurred just after 2 p.m. but it took four hours to recover the bodies, authorities said.
There were whiteout conditions in the mountains, making the search and rescue tough, the sheriff said.
“It’s snowing like hell up here, which isn’t helping,” Krueger told 7NEWS.
Eventually searchers from Clear Creek County, the Alpine Rescue Team and the Summit Rescue Team and the Loveland and Arapahoe Basin ski resorts located the bodies.
Krueger said the avalanche was 650 feet wide, 1,100 feet long and 8 feet deep. All of the snowboarders had the right equipment, including avalanche beacons, which helps pinpoint where you are buried.
From TheDenverChannel.com

Here is the official report from Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Such a tragic event...I really feel for all the victims and their families.

ski stef

Staff member
Mar 25, 2011
Breckenridge, Colo.
Sad and close to us out here. I'm a bit curious as to why the 6th alive didn't start searching and instead ran for help. Regardless the situation at hand could leave anyone stricken I would assume. RIP and prayers for all families/victims involved. We've had an unbelievable end of winter out here - saddened that it had to raise the avalanche deaths.

Pictures just astounded me that CAIC posted. The chunks of snow and the mass of the avalanche is really scary.