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Backcountry skier killed in Colorado’s first fatal avalanche this snow season

The deadly avalanche comes as avalanche danger is high across Colorado as a winter storm blankets the high country

The crown of the fatal avalanche that killed a skier on Dec. 24, 2021, the first avalanche fatality of the season in Colorado. Investigators say the avalanche broke on a layer of faceted snow 1 to 3 feet below the snow surface. The avalanche broke about 150 wide and ran almost 100 vertical feet on an east-facing slope below treeline on the southeast end of South Diamond Peak near Cameron Pass in the Front Range zone. (L. Mouttet, Colorado Avalanche Information Center)

A backcountry skier was killed Friday in an avalanche west of Fort Collins, becoming the first person to die from an avalanche in Colorado this snow season.

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The avalanche happened at about 2 p.m. near Cameron Peak on the southeast end of South Diamond Peak, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said. The slide happened “in a steep, below-treeline area.”

“The victim’s partner was able to locate him with a transceiver and probe pole and extricate him from the snow, but he did not survive,” the CAIC said in an accident report.

The skier’s body was recovered after dark Friday.

The name of the skier was not released.

The deadly avalanche comes amid high avalanche danger across Colorado as a winter storm blankets the high country.