Durango skier dies in avalanche near Silverton

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DURANGO, Colo. – A 23-year-old Durango man was killed after a group of skiers were swept up in an Avalanche near Silverton on Saturday.

According to Melody Skinner, a spokesperson with the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, Peter Carver died after his back-country skiing group triggered an avalanche north of Gladstone, just outside the boundaries of the Silverton Mountain Ski Area.

Three people in the vicinity witnessed the avalanche, and notified the sheriff’s office at approximately 2:53 p.m., Skinner said.

John Duncan Rothwell, 53, suffered a possible broken femur, and Nate Klema, 23, managed to escape the avalanche without serious injuries.

San Juan deputies and Silverton ski staff rushed to the area, where Carver was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities said a Flight for Life helicopter was dispatched to the scene, but Rothwell decided to take an ambulance to Mercy Regional Medical Center instead.

Skinner says this is the first avalanche fatality in San Juan County this season.