GUNNISON COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — A man was killed and two others were injured in an avalanche southwest of the Town of Marble on Friday, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
Three men were caught in the avalanche in Upper Rapid Creek, the CAIC website said. One skier was taken out by helicopter and a splitboarder was taken by ambulance after getting himself out of the avalanche.
The third man was unaccounted for and a search was conducted on Saturday. The CAIC site said the skier was found buried beneath four feet of snow.
This is the eighth person who has been killed in an avalanche this season.
Victim was avid, experienced skier
The man killed in the avalanche has been identified by his family as Joel Thomas Shute who turned 36 on Monday.
Shute’s mother, Lisa Gerstner Boston, said her son has been on skis since he was only a year old.
A GoFundMe has been set up by Shute’s friends and family with all proceeds going to a local search and rescue.
Avalanche triggered above treeline
According to the CAIC, the wave of snow triggered and released in the east-northeast aspect above the treeline. The avalanche was 2 to 3 feet deep, 300 to 500 feet wide and covered approximately 2,400 vertical feet.
The Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado Search and Rescue Association, Mountain Rescue Aspen, West Elk Rescue Group, Flight for Life, Careflight of the Rockies, and the CAIC were involved in the search, rescue and recovery efforts.