Three skiers are missing after being hit by a"large avalanche" over two kilometers above sea level when they accidentally actuated it while backcountry skiing.
The incident happened on Feb. 1 involving the towns of Silverton and Ophir at Colorado when a bunch of seven skiers were traveling near an area -- locally called"The Nose" -- and, according to a report from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), they accidentally triggered a big avalanche at an elevation of approximately 11,500 feet.
Four individuals were caught up in the avalanche if they were carried and then buried by the tumbling snow and ice.
In accordance with CAIC, the team of skiers could recover one of the lost members after digging them out. That person suffered only minor injuries. Another three people are still missing.
Police were contacted and search and rescue operations lasted into the night, stated CAIC, and again continued on Feb. 2 before being suspended because of"considerable" avalanche danger in addition to the safety of the Search and Rescue team.
"The avalanche danger in the Northern San Juan Mountain Zone is in'Considerable' hazard and due to the unstable snowpack we are undergoing natural and mitigated avalanche activity," stated the Office of Emergency Management, San Juan County Colorado, at an announcement on social media. "Increased avalanche activity caused dangerous conditions for the recovery mission. Thus the recovery assignment of the three lost skiers was suspended until the avalanche conditions are stable and responders can re enter the dangerous terrain of the avalanche incident site."
CAIC explained that the search and rescue attempts will resume when rescuers believe it is safe to get the site again.
"Avalanche danger in the backcountry is always unpredictable irrespective of your avalanche knowledge and skills," stated the Office of Emergency Management, San Juan County Colorado. "It is crucial to check the avalanche prediction and avalanche danger before venturing into the backcountry. Assess... for avalanche conditions, have your gear of beacon, shovel, probe and produce a plan for communications with your ski set "