Body found of missing man in Marble avalanche, authorities say
The presumed body of a 27-year-old Colorado Springs man was found Saturday after he was caught in an avalanche in the Marble area, according to news releases issued Saturday by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
A group of four snowshoers was hiking to a cabin in the Marble area on Friday when the avalanche hit, the release said, adding that one of the party’s members contacted the Sheriff’s Office at approximately 4:47 p.m. about the slide.
“The reporting party was snowshoeing as part of a group with three other friends to a cabin in the area,” the release said. “The reporting party stated an avalanche had slid from the area they were hiking and one friend could not be located. The avalanche occurred near Beaver Lake in the Yule Creek drainage of Gunnison County. The Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office was notified and mobilized West Elks Mountain Rescue. A mutual aid request was received by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office from the Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office. Mountain Rescue Aspen was notified and mobilized.”
The Carbondale Fire and Rural Fire Protection District was first on scene to make direct contact with the reporting party, with West Elks Mountain Rescue arriving later. West Elks went into the field with the Colorado Information Avalanche Center’s deputy director and two of the snowshoers, the release said.
“The location of the avalanche was identified as was the last known location of the missing party. Due to the area’s unstable conditions and time of day, search efforts were limited to areas that could be safely examined,” the release said.
All resources and members of the group were out of the field at 9:14 p.m. Friday.
Searchers returned Saturday morning, and the body was located around 11:35 a.m. He was found approximately 5 feet deep in the avalanche path. Rescuers were able to extract the body just before 4 p.m. and all MRA members were out of the field around 7:39 p.m.
According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s initial report, the avalanche was approximately 50 feet wide and ran 250 feet vertically. The face of the crown was 1 to 2 feet deep. It released on a west-facing, below-treeline slope.
The CAIC said the group also included two dogs, which were both killed in the slide. Two people in the group were partially buried but were able to dig themselves out, according to the CAIC report.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the victim was from Colorado Springs, not Denver as initially reported by Pitkin County officials.