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Solo backcountry snowboarder, 29, dies in avalanche near Ophir

Five people have died in Colorado avalanches this season, three were snowshoers

Guides with Telluride Helitrax spotted tracks going into this avalanche debris on Thursday, Mar. 17. They searched the debris and found the body of 29-year-old Devin Overton. (Provided by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center)
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A skier and a snowboarder died in recent avalanches in the Rocky Mountains, officials said.

Guides with Telluride Helitrax found the body of 29-year-old Devin Overton buried in avalanche debris near Trout Lake, above five miles southwest of Ophir on Thursday afternoon. The heliskiing crew had spotted tracks heading into avalanche debris, but no exit tracks, according to a report by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

Guides located the body of Overton, a Telluride resident, after picking up a signal from his transceiver. The CAIC report called him a “solo backcountry snowboarder.” The San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office identified Overton on Thursday evening.

Overton was a brand ambassador for Silverton-based Venture Snowboards. He was an accomplished backcountry splitboarder and often posted online videos of his descents across southwest Colorado.

“Sheriff Masters wishes to extend deepest condolences to Mr. Overton’s family and many friends,” reads a statement from San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters.

On the Idaho-Wyoming border, two skiers were caught in an avalanche in the Teton Range near Victor, Idaho, on Thursday afternoon.

Initial reports indicate an older man and older woman were buried, but companions were able to uncover them, Teton County Search and Rescue reported. The woman was conscious, but the man was not breathing. The victim’s name has not been released.

Fourteen people have died in avalanches in the United States this winter, including five in Colorado, three of whom were snowshoeing, according to the CAIC.

That is the most snowshoers killed in Colorado avalanches in a single season. The last recorded fatality involving a snowshoer was on Dec. 31, 2014 near Torreys Peak.

Last season avalanches killed 37 backcountry travelers in the U.S., including 12 men in Colorado. At this time last year, eight backcountry skiers, two snowmobilers and one snowboarder had been killed in avalanches in Colorado.

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