STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– A search and rescuer with the Routt County Search and Rescue was swept away in an avalanche during a rescue mission.

The avalanche happened Thursday night while rescuers were trying to help a skier and snowboarder who were lost in the North Fork of the Fish Creek drainage area.

The men were in their 40s and from Minnesota but were not prepared to be in the backcountry. They apparently did not have any food or water with them. They also did not have avalanche beacons.

Four search and rescue volunteers were able to meet up with the tracks left by the men in the canyon after the lost men called 911 and crews were able to pinpoint their location.

While crossing a known avalanche slide path, the third man triggered an avalanche and was swept away about 300 feet before he struck an aspen tree.

The rescuers caught up to the other rescuer who suffered a broken arm, small leg fractures and a laceration to the head. He underwent surgery for his injuries on Friday.

The injured rescuer stayed with his crew and helped them find the lost men. The injured rescuer was taken out on a snowmobile once the lost pair was located.

There is a high avalanche danger in Colorado’s High Country with feet of snow falling in some places since Jan. 2.

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