“Three of the people and the two dogs moved up a road that cut halfway up a steep ravine. They triggered an avalanche and the moving snow pushed them into the ravine,” according to the CAIC.
Two of the people were partially buried by snow and debris in the ravine but were able to free themselves, while one person and two dogs were buried and killed in the avalanche, CAIC noted.
Several organizations were involved in the recovery effort, the office said. Mountain Rescue Aspen sent 29 volunteers, West Elk Mountain Rescue sent eight volunteers, Carbondale Rural Fire Protection District provided five members, and CAIC sent four members.
Local, county and state officials responded to the avalanche, which state officials said was about 50 feet wide and “extended 250 feet vertically,” the agency said. .
Search teams helped two people from the group out of the field on Friday, then returned on Saturday to retrieve the last member of the group and two dogs who were killed in the avalanche, according to the CAIC.
Mountain Rescue Aspen “would like to remind backcountry travelers to be aware that small inclines can be dangerous,” the sheriff’s office said, adding that the organization recommends travelers carry rescue gear in case avalanche in unmanaged areas.