Snowboarder survives avalanche in East Vail backcountry

Local News

VAIL, Colo. (KDVR) — A snowboarder is lucky to be alive after getting caught and buried in an avalanche in East Vail on Saturday.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said the avalanche happened on a northeast-facing slope below treeline at about 10,000 feet.

The snowboarder was carried through the trees and completely buried with his head under about a foot and a half of snow. The rider was able to make an air pocket in front of his face and get his AvaLung in his mouth. His partner recovered him in 10 to 15 minutes using a transceiver. He was shaken up, but uninjured, according to the CAIC.

On Sunday, a snowmobiler was killed in an avalanche after getting caught under his sled on Pumphouse Lake, according to CAIC.

A 57-year-old man was killed in a backcountry avalanche near the Loveland Ski Area on Sunday morning, according to the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office.

Colorado has now seen 10 avalanche-related deaths this season. Colorado’s deadliest avalanche season was 2012 to 2013 with 11 avalanche deaths.

Fifteen people died from avalanches across the country last week, making it the second-deadliest week for avalanches in the U.S. ever, according to the Colorado Avalanche Info Center, which tracks avalanche fatalities.

Alaska, California, Colorado, Montana, New Hampshire, Utah and Washington all experienced fatal avalanches over the 7-day period.

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