MARBLE, Colo. — A Colorado skier was killed and two others injured after becoming trapped in a massive backcountry avalanche in western Colorado.
The body of Joel Shute, 36, of Glenwood Springs was recovered Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
Shute had been missing since Friday night, when he was buried in an avalanche that washed 2,400 feet down a mountainside where the victims were trekking through countryside southwest of the town of Marble, authorities said.
The avalanche was two to three feet deep where it started and up to 500 feet wide, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said. Rescue crews found the victim’s body buried about four feet deep in avalanche debris, the center said.
A skier and a snowboarder who were with Shute survived. The snowboarder went out to get help and rescue teams evacuated the injured skier by helicopter. Both were taken to the hospital, the Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office said.
Recent storms have increased avalanche risks.
Eighteen people have died in the US from avalanches so far this winter. Avalanches last winter killed 37 people, which was the most recorded by the avalanche center in records going back to 1950.