CORTEZ, Colo. (CBS4) – Searchers have brought in an Air Force Black Hawk helicopter to an area of southwest Colorado where a snowmobiler is missing in an avalanche.
Crews are searching for the snowmobiler, identified as Anthony Robert Yates, east of Durango in Montezuma County at about 12,000 feet of altitude in an area called the “Shark Teeth.”
The area of the state is where there’s less snow than usual. It’s at 80 percent of snowpack, which means snowmobilers have been heading into higher altitudes.
The Montezuma County Sheriff’s Department said the snowmobilers were knowledgeable and well prepared with beacons, air bags and parachutes.
“They weren’t doing anything stupid,” said sheriff’s spokesperson Lynda Carter.
The massive slide was reported to be about a half mile long and as deep as 34 feet in places.
Four snowmobilers climbed out after the slide hit. Yates, a local in the Mancos area, did not make it out. Searchers have found his snowmobile and helmet, but not him.