Search and rescue team member dies in avalanche near Aspen

avalanche graphic

A member of a Colorado mountain search and rescue team died in a weekend avalanche outside the boundaries of the Aspen Highlands ski resort.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says two skiers were using climbing skins to ascend through an area called Maroon Bowl on Sunday when they were caught in an avalanche.

Pitkin County officials say the victim hit a tree. The second skier was able to slowly ski out after suffering several injuries.

Safety concerns prevented rescuers from recovering the body of the victim, who was a member of Mountain Rescue Aspen. The victim’s name has not been released.

An avalanche warning had been issued for the mountains around Aspen on Sunday.

The U.S. Forest Service National Avalanche Center says Sunday’s death was the 20th avalanche fatality in the United States this winter.

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