Avalanche kills climber in Ouray County

Data pix.

OURAY COUNTY, Colo. — An avalanche caused by falling ice killed 44-year-old Van Le Little of Seattle on Saturday.

Where the block of ice broke from the ice climb above
Site where ice broke and triggered a fatal avalanche in the Uncompahgre Gorge on Jan. 18, 2020. Source: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

The incident occurred around 10:30 a.m. on the Dungeon Ice Climbing Route, which is located across the Uncompahgre River of Highway 550, mile marker 89.

According to the Ouray County Deputy Coroner, Little was on a guided climb with three other climbers and was taking pictures of the other climbers when a large chunk of ice broke off and hit the ledge above her and the other climbers.

The woman was not tethered at the time, according to a report from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

A slide of snow and ice came down on the climbers, which took Little to the creek below, where she was fully buried.

A formal cause of death has not been released.

For avalanche conditions, click here.

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