Park County Search and Rescue has announced that they’ve officially suspended the search for Alma-area resident Michael Blair due to safety concerns and weather conditions. Avalanche risk has spiked in the area, making the threat to searchers too high for them to continue at this time.

According to their press release, the team experienced an avalanche in their search area moments after passing through. No one was caught or injured, but it raised concern.

The avalanche was rated at R3, D2.5, meaning that it was relatively big with destructive and deadly potential. The crown of the slide was 400 feet wide, running more than 500 feet down the slope. It was naturally triggered near the end of Mountain View Road between Alma and Fairplay.

Photo Credit: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Family members of the missing man have requested that people DO NOT continue to search until conditions are safer.

Blair was reported missing on February 6th, last seen on February 2nd. The operation has been treated as a recovery effort in recent days, as snowy conditions in the high country have made backcountry survival unlikely.

Alma, Colorado is often called the “highest incorporated town” in America, resting at an altitude of 10,578 feet. Multiple feet of snow have fallen in the area in recent days.

If you’re entering the backcountry, try to never go alone. Always let someone know where you’re headed and when you’re expected to be back.

Editor’s Note: Help fund search and rescue missions across Colorado by purchasing a CORSAR card at ihelpsearch.org. This is not an insurance card. By purchasing a card, you are helping reimburse teams for costs incurred in providing help to lost and injured hikers, climbers, mountain bikers, hunters, ATV riders, skiers, snowboarders, and more.

 

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