Dec 16, 2009 9:04 AM by Associated Press

Colorado man 'swims' avalanche to survive

Clear Creek County sheriff's officials say a snowboarder who triggered an avalanche in the backcountry near Loveland Pass is unhurt after being buried up to his waist.

Maj. Rick Albers says 25-year-old Alec Meyer of Denver was able to swim to stay mostly on top of the slide Tuesday, and a woman skiing with him dug him out. Albers says the two didn't have avalanche beacons or shovels and hadn't checked the avalanche forecast. The danger for the area Tuesday was rated high.

Avalanche forecaster John Snook of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center says the slide was about 3 feet deep at the top, 250 feet wide and covered 450 vertical feet.


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