Denver, CO

2 snowshoers, dog die in Colorado avalanche

Sara B. Hansen

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Two people and a dog died Saturday in an avalanche near Hoosier Pass in Summit County.(Courtesy CAIC)

By Sara B. Hansen / NewsBreak Denver

(Summit County, Colo.) A pair of snowshoers and a dog died Saturday after being caught in an avalanche near Hoosier Pass in Summit County.

According to a preliminary report from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the avalanche broke about 400 feet wide. It ran about 250 vertical feet while breaking into old snow layers on a flank of North Star Mountain near Breckenridge.

Investigators from the avalanche center will return to the avalanche site Monday in an effort to gather more information. The avalanche center will post a final report later this week.

Friends and relatives reported the snowshoers were overdue after an outing on Saturday.

Deputies from the Summit County Sheriff's Office, volunteers from the Summit County Rescue Group, and Flight for Life started searching an area west of Hoosier Pass.

Rescuers discovered a recent avalanche in an area of interest on North Star Mountain. An avalanche dog found the bodies of the snowshoers and their dog. All three were buried entirely by avalanche debris.

The Colorado Sun reports the people killed Saturday are the second and third to die in an avalanche in Colorado this year.

The Coloradoan reports backcountry skier Ralph Eberspacher, 54, of Fort Collins, died in December in a Jackson County avalanche near Cameron Pass.

During the 2020-2021 season, 37 people died in avalanches across the United States. That number includes 12 Coloradans.

So far in the 2021-2022 season, eight people have died in avalanches across the U.S.

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Sara is the Denver news manager for NewsBreak. She's held editing roles at The Denver Post, The Des Moines Register, and The Fort Collins Coloradoan.

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