SILVERTON, Colo. (AP) — A backcountry skier is dead after being caught in an avalanche in southwestern Colorado.

The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office says 27-year-old Abel Palmer of Durango died in Sunday’s slide near Silverton. He’s the first person to be killed in avalanche in Colorado this year.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says the avalanche happened in an area known as Sam’s Trees south of Red Mountain Pass.

The region received up to 20 inches of new snow in the last few days, putting a heavy load on top of a weak snowpack. The avalanche danger in most of Colorado’s mountains is rated as considerable Monday.

Three other people have died in avalanches in the West since the start of 2018 — two snowmobilers in Idaho and one in Montana.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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