SUMMIT COUNTY – An avalanche confirmed outside Aspen around the Markley Hut Monday afternoon took a skiers life.
Initial reports indicated the skier was among a group of six that included some family members and friends.
The skier was reportedly buried in the avalanche and rescuers removed him and performed CPR.
26 members of Mountain Rescue Aspen were deployed into the field to conduct a rescue mission that quickly turned into a recovery operation for the deceased skier.
The victims’ name and age are not being released until next of kin are notified.
Rescuers faced harsh weather and local avalanche conditions, transporting the rest of the skiers out of the area.
The group members were put in touch with the Aspen Hope Center for grief counseling services.
Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office stresses the inherent dangers and risks that go hand in hand with travel and recreation in the backcountry this time of year. They are urging the public to visit the Colorado Avalanche Information Center website for up-to-date information on backcountry conditions.
The Markley Hut sits at 10,400 feet (3,170 meters) above sea level in an area frequented by avalanches. It is associated with the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association and shelters hikers, cross country skiers and snowshoers.
A special advisory issued by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center through Monday, warns backcountry travelers can easily trigger large and deadly slides.
Since January 11th, the center says 10 people have been caught in avalanches in Colorado.
Our office has been notified of an avalanche outside Aspen, in the area of the Markley Hut. The slide caught one individual & has claimed the life of that individual. Deputies & @MtnRescueAspen are making a plan now. Updates will be available as we learn more information. pic.twitter.com/pbFF3Tg1Fd
— Pitkin Co. Sheriff (@PitkinSheriff) January 21, 2019
Earlier this month, officials say several misjudgments led to the avalanche that killed a man participating in an advanced avalanche safety class in southwestern Colorado.
Along with the four deaths in Summit County on the ski slopes this year, there have been at least three other skiing or snowboarding fatalities in Colorado this season.