5 snowboarders killed in Loveland Pass avalanche identified

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LOVELAND PASS, Colo. — The Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office Sunday released the names of five people killed when they were buried in an avalanche near Loveland Pass.

They are: Christopher Peters, 32, from Lakewood; Ryan Novack, 33, from Boulder; Joseph Timlin, 32, from Gypsum; Ian Lamphere, 36, from Crested Butte and Rick Gaukel, 33, from Estes Park.

ESPN reported Timlin is an organizer for the Rocky Mountain High Backcountry Gathering and also worked as a sales manager for various snowboard brands.

Clear Creek County Sheriff Don Krueger said that one man, Jerome Boulay, was freed by a rescuer and survived. A Paris native, Boulay is a sales manager with Venture Snowboards who moved to Aspen in 1992, according to the company’s website.

The avalanche happened around 1 p.m. on the north-northeast aspect of the Sheep Creek drainage of Loveland Pass.  This is near but outside the Loveland Ski Area boundary.

The avalanche was approximately 650 feet wide, 1,150 feet long, and the fracture line was approximately eight feet deep.

All of the snowboarders were wearing proper equipment, including avalanche beacons, deputies said.

According to the Colorado Avalanche Information website, avalanche danger is a level 3 “considerable.”

Teams from the Loveland Ski Patrol, A-Basin Ski Patrol, Alpine Search & Rescue, Summit County Rescue Group, Clear Creek Fire Authority, Clear Creek and Summit County Sheriff’s office all responded to the scene.

The avalanche is the deadliest since 1962 when seven people were killed when a slide buried residents at Twin Lakes near Independence Pass.