Man killed in avalanche on Cottonwood Pass

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CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. — A man died in an avalanche Friday near the summit of Cottonwood Pass on Friday, authorities said.

Search and rescue personnel found the man buried with his snow bike in the area of Lost Lake, not far from Buena Vista.

Witnesses on snowmobiles heard what they thought was an avalanche Friday around midday. They went into the area and saw a large avalanche, and noticed some tracks going into the slide area.

They performed a quick search but didn’t see anything suspicious.

The snowmobilers encountered three members of a Chaffee County Search and Rescue team who were in the area on avalanche training.

“They passed on the information in regards to the avalanche they observed, including the information about the suspicious tracks traveling into the slide. Search and Rescue North members immediately responded to the avalanche area and began a search,” a statement from the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office said.

“A short time later the SAR members found a snow bike ski tip protruding out of the snow,” the sheriff’s office said. “they began digging the machine out of snow and located one male victim buried in the avalanche. They extricated him and began CPR immediately.”

The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said the avalanche danger in most places in the Colorado mountains is rated as “considerable.”

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