PAGOSA SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – A third person has died in an avalanche in Colorado this season.
According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, on Tuesday a group of four snowmobilers departed for a trip from the Tucker Ponds trailhead east of Wolf Creek Pass in the southern San Juan Mountains.
“At approximately 4 p.m. the group was snowmobiling in the Lost Mine Creek drainage between Campo Mollino and Park Creek. During the course of their ride two members of the group were caught in an avalanche. One rider was partially buried and the other was completely buried,” CAIC said in a statement.
The group left the scene to get help and were able to get cell service at approximately 6 p.m.
The partially buried snowmobiler survived. It’s not clear if the person was injured. Rio Grande County Coroner Rusty Strohmayer identified the man who died as David Smith of Kimball, South Dakota.
“Personnel from the Wolf Creek Ski Area, and Mineral and Rio Grande County sheriff’s offices all participated in the search and rescue effort,” CAIC said.
According to the Crested Butte Avalanche Center, the avalanche wasn’t very large but the rough terrain and lack of shovels “prevented a speedy recovery.”
According to the incident report from CAIC, the avalanche was triggered by a snowmobile.