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January 30, 2023

1 dead, 1 rescued in a Colorado avalanche triggered by a snowboarder

1 dead, 1 rescued in a Colorado avalanche triggered by a snowboarder

An avalanche apparently triggered by a snowboarder near Winter Park, Colorado, killed one person and buried one other Monday afternoon.

At least four people were caught in an avalanche slide at the west side of the Berthoud Pass, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office said. Bystanders reacted quickly and were able to rescue one of the people who was buried under the snow.

A 44-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene after bystanders pulled him out of the snow and attempted lifesaving measures. The sheriff’s office did not identify the man, saying the coroner’s office would release more information “when appropriate.”

The avalanche was triggered by a snowboarder on a slope where another avalanche had also been triggered, according to a news release from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

“This is a tragic reminder that you can trigger a dangerous avalanche on many wind-loaded slopes steeper than about 30 degrees,” the center said in its release. “Our sincere condolences to all the friends and family of the deceased.”

The center warned that avalanche conditions were moderate for Monday and Tuesday, but that slides could be easily triggered. A cold front will sweep into the region Tuesday evening and is expected to increase the risk of avalanche conditions.

The Berthoud Pass is a scenic, high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains, according to Grand County’s tourism website. Its slopes, which cover 1,200 acres, are considered advanced to expert backcountry routes.

Doha Madani is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News. Pronouns: she/her.

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