(CONEJOS COUNTY, Colo.) — A snowmobiler was killed after they were apparently caught and buried during an avalanche near La Manga Pass in Conejos County over the weekend, according to a preliminary report by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).
CAIC tweeted on Monday afternoon, Feb. 27 about the incident, and stated that the snowmobiler’s death is now the seventh avalanche death in Colorado for the 2022-2023 season and the third fatality since Feb. 25, after two backcountry skiers were caught, buried, and killed during an avalanche near Vallecito Reservoir on Saturday.
CAIC said on Saturday, the snowmobiler was riding with a group of four others when he was caught and buried in an avalanche near the Red Lakes trailhead.
Responding agencies including the Conejos County Sheriff’s Office, the United States Forest Service (USFS), and Conejos County Search and Rescue searched the avalanche debris on Saturday night after the snowmobiler was reported missing by the group.
Additional search crews assisted over the weekend including avalanche dog teams from the Wolf Creek Ski Area, forecasters from the CAIC, and members of the local community.
The search effort continued on Monday, Feb. 27 with help from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), along with search and rescue groups from Mineral, Rio Grand, and Alamosa counties.
According to CAIC, the rider was recovered around midday on Monday.