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A 29-year-old female backcountry skier died Sunday after an avalanche near Cameron Pass, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office reports.
A 911 call made about 2:45 p.m. reported a skier had been caught in an avalanche near the pass, which is about 60 miles up Colorado Highway 14 from U.S. Highway 287. Other members of her party dug her out, but she was not breathing after the avalanche, according to a news release.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reported the avalanche was on Diamond Peak.
The avalanche, which occurred at 11,400 feet, was “2 to 3 feet deep, very wide, and running close to 500 feet vertically,” according to the CAIC. The skier was fully buried.
Rescuers from Larimer and Jackson counties responded, but the skier was declared dead at the scene, according to the Larimer sheriff’s office.
Staff from CAIC plan to visit the site to investigate Monday.
The skier’s identity and cause and manner of death will be released after an autopsy by the Larimer County Coroner’s Office.
The avalanche risk for the Front Range is currently moderate, according to the CAIC website.
So far this season, the CAIC has recorded three incidents where people were either caught or buried in avalanches. Sunday’s was the first fatality of the season.
Last year was an especially heavy year for avalanches after an especially snowy season. There were eight fatalities.
Snow was forecast Sunday in the mountains west of Fort Collins.
So far this season, Northern Colorado has gotten off to a fast start for snowfall. The National Weather Service reported Sunday many areas have seen above average seasonal totals.
Rebecca Powell is a content coach at the Coloradoan. If you know of an impactful story you believe needs to be reported, send it to RebeccaPowell@coloradoan.com.
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