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Crews find body of backcountry skier buried in massive slide near Telluride

Posted at 2:33 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 18:46:23-05

TELLURIDE, Colo. — Search and rescue crews found the body of a backcountry skier who got caught up in an avalanche near Telluride Tuesday morning, the San Miguel County Sheriff said.

The victim, identified as 47-year-old Telluride resident Salvadore Garcia-Atance, was found by rescue crews with a probe line near the creek above the boulder at the top of the Bear Creek Trail around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to a release from the sheriff’s office.

Garcia-Atance had set off from the trail Tuesday morning. He reportedly made it to the top when out-of-bound snowboarders triggered a 75 feet wide slide that buried the victim and left a debris field 300 feet long and 15-20 feet deep, the release read.

“Of course this is not the outcome any of us were hoping for and on behalf of myself and all of us involved in this mission, we extend our sincerest condolences to Mr. Garcia-Atance’s family,” Sheriff Bill Masters said in the release.

Crews closed the trail and used avalanche dogs and a helicopter during the day-long search for the buried skier.

Bear Creek Trail was reopened, but authorities are warning visitors that avalanche danger will continue.