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Skier dies in backcountry avalanche near Crested Butte

Officials are worried about a surge in backcountry skiers this year because of the coronavirus crisis

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A photo of an avalanche near Crested Butte on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, that killed a skier. (Handout)

A skier was killed in a backcountry avalanche near Crested Butte on Friday, becoming the first avalanche death in Colorado this snow season.

The skier was buried in a slide in an area called Friendly Finish, which is not far from Kebler Pass, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

The skier, whose name was not released, was not traveling with anyone else. Their body was found by two other backcountry skiers who were also in the area.

Officials are worried about a surge in backcountry skiers this year because of the coronavirus crisis. Money normally dedicated toward attracting tourists to Colorado has been rerouted for avalanche education as a result.

Six people were killed in Colorado avalanches during the 2019-2020 snow season.

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