JACKSON COUNTY, Colo. — A snowmobiler has died after an avalanche near Ruby Mountain in Jackson County on Tuesday.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said the avalanche occurred on a northeast-facing slope southeast of Rand around 11,100 feet around 3 p.m. Tuesday.
The person — later identified as a man from Akron, Colorado — was fully buried. One other snowmobiler was partially buried sitting upright and wasn't hurt. Other members of the group searched for the buried man before calling Jackson County Search and Rescue. Crews reached the area Tuesday evening but could not find the person, CAIC said. He wasn't wearing a transceiver.
Search efforts restarted Wednesday to look for the person.
He was found about one meter deep at the toe, or bottom, of the avalanche, by an avalanche search dog, CAIC said.
The avalanche broke about 3/4 of a mile wide, CAIC said. It ran about 400 feet.
CAIC said the red dot on the below map indicates where the avalanche happened.
According to preliminary information, CAIC learned that the riders had traveled across the slope more than one time before the avalanche. They had six people in their group.
The avalanche remains under investigation. No other details were available as of Wednesday morning.
Click here to check the avalanche forecast before leaving home.
The CAIC has started warning the public that the size and spread of avalanches in Colorado in the past couple weeks indicate that future avalanches this season may be larger and wider — and therefore, more dangerous — than usual.
As of Thursday morning, 11 people have died in Colorado avalanches during the 2020-2021 season:
- Dec. 18, 2020: 1 backcountry skier killed (near Crested Butte)
- Dec. 19, 2020: 2 backcountry skiers killed (near Ophir)
- Dec. 26, 2020: 1 backcountry skier killed (near Berthoud Pass)
- Feb. 1, 2021: 3 backcountry skiers killed (near Ophir)
- Feb. 4, 2021: 1 sidecountry skier killed (southeast of Vail)
- Feb. 14, 2021: 1 snowboarder killed (near Loveland Pass)
- Feb. 14, 2021: 1 snowmobiler killed (near Rollins Pass)
- Feb. 16, 2021: 1 snowmobiler killed (near Ruby Mountain) (this story)