Two snowmobilers killed in Colorado avalanche

Two snowmobile riders died after being buried in an avalanche in Colorado.

State and local officials said the incident occurred Saturday around 2 p.m. on Mount Epworth in the southern Rocky Mountains, outside Winter Park.

“Another group in the area was able to locate one of the riders with a transceiver. They performed CPR, but their efforts were unsuccessful. The second rider was not wearing an avalanche transceiver,” the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said.

The first rider was described as a 58-year-old man. Rescuers were unable to find the second rider before nightfall on Saturday but returned and recovered the body Sunday morning. That victim was described as a 52-year-old man.

Both men were taken to the Grand County Coroner’s Office to be identified.

The deaths were the first avalanche-related fatalities of 2023 and the fourth and fifth ones of the 2022-23 winter season. In the last week of December, two snowmobilers and a skier were killed in three separate incidents in Colorado and Montana. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said about 27 people die in avalanches every year.

“We encourage those recreating in our backcountry to regularly monitor the conditions and follow the advice of our avalanche professionals at Colorado Avalanche Information Center,” Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said in a statement.

Recent river storms on the West Coast have brought large amounts of snowfall to the Rocky Mountains, leading to snow piling on popular paths.