SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Two snowshoers and their dog were found dead after being buried and killed by an avalanche Saturday near North Star Mountain, northwest of Hoosier Pass, Colorado Avalanche Information Center confirmed Sunday night.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports the victims are 25-year-old Hannah Nash and 35-year-old Drake Oversen, both of Colorado Springs.
According to CAIC’s Facebook post, Summit County deputies, volunteers with Summit County Rescue Group and a Flight for Life helicopter began searching areas west of Hoosier Pass after the party was reported missing. They were all overdue from a hike the previous day and failed to meet as planned with friends Sunday morning.
Investigators found a recent avalanche on a flank of North Star Mountain. Eventually, an avalanche rescue dog found both snowshoers and their dog, all of whom were completely buried by avalanche debris and dead at the time of discovery.
According to the SCRG press release, searchers noted what they thought to be snowshoe tracks in the area of the recent avalanche, and around 2 p.m., the search dogs found the three victims.
The avalanche was approximately 0.8 miles north of Hoosier Pass at an altitude of around 11,700 feet. It was estimated to be about 150 meters wide and 80 meters in length, with a crown (fracture at the top) of 3 meters.
SCRG confirmed Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment team members were those who flew in the search helicopter. SCRG responded with 33 team members along with two Summit County deputies.
CAIC will conduct an assessment of the avalanche in the coming days. Additional information about the victims will be provided by Summit County Coroner’s Office pending notification of relatives.
CAIC reports there have been 12 human-triggered avalanches in the last three days in the high country.
This is the second deadly avalanche in the state for the 2021-22 season. The previous deadly avalanche killed a backcountry skier on Christmas Eve on South Diamond Peak near Cameron Pass.