One skier presumed dead following avalanche near Crested Butte

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GUNNISON COUNTY, Colo. — A skier is presumed dead after rescue crews weren’t able to reach him or her following an avalanche near Crested Butte Tuesday.

On Tuesday, four skiers were recreating on Mount Emmons, which stands about 12,300 feet tall northwest of Crested Butte. The skiers were in an area locally known as the Climax Chutes, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC). It’s a very steep northeast-facing slope.

According to a preliminary CAIC report, an avalanche started to slide downhill, catching and injuring one skier.

The Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office and Crested Butte Mountain Rescue responded to the avalanche but had to reduce their response because of avalanche hazard.

The skier is presumed to have died, according to CAIC. If correct, this would mark the sixth avalanche death in Colorado for the 2019-2020 season, and the fifth in 2020, according to CAIC data.

This story will be updated once more information is available.