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Member of Mountain Rescue Aspen killed in backcountry avalanche

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Posted at 6:51 AM, Apr 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-09 14:28:01-04

ASPEN, Colo. – A skier who died after being caught in an avalanche over the weekend was a member of Mountain Rescue Aspen, the organization said Monday.

Rescue crews responded to an area near Maroon Bowl at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday after receiving a report that two skiers had been caught in an avalanche outside the Aspen Highlands ski area. The skiers had been “skinning” uphill when the avalanche started, crews said.

Ski Patrol was able to communicate via cell phone with one of the skiers, who managed to escape the slide and climbed back uphill to reach the skier who got caught.

Rescue crews said the skier who was caught in the slide, identified later Monday as John Galvin, 57, hit a tree and died.

Galvin was a resident of the Roaring Fork Valley and was a 30-year veteran of Mountain Rescue Aspen, officials said.

“John was a dedicated and professional public safety volunteer, who unselfishly gave his time to our community over 30 years,” said Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo.

“John helped save lives of hundreds of visitors and locals who were in need while injured or stranded in our mountains. John will be missed by all on our team and in our community," said Mountain Rescue Aspen President Justin Hood.

Rescue crews said conditions were too treacherous for recovery efforts on Sunday or Monday. The sheriff's office and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center will work together to determine the best time for recovery.