Backcountry skier killed in slide near Telluride

This is the fifth avalanche death of the season in Colorado

Jesse Paul and Jason Blevins
Colorado Sun
A view of the slide Tuesday near Telluride that killed a man.
Colorado Avalanche Information Center/Courtesy photo

A 47-year-old man was killed Tuesday in a large avalanche near Telluride triggered by snowboarders on a slope above him, authorities say, becoming Colorado’s fifth snow-slide death of the 2018-19 season.

Salvador Garcia-Atance, who was backcountry skiing on a well-traveled trail above Telluride, was the third man killed in a four-day period following heavy snowfall across the high country.

“This accident is especially tragic because this person didn’t trigger the avalanche,” said Ethan Greene, who leads the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

Authorities say Garcia-Atance was reported missing on Tuesday afternoon after setting out on a backcountry trip, skinning from the valley floor in Telluride up the mellow trail heading into the Bear Creek drainage, prompting a search team from the Telluride Resort ski patrol to scour the area.

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