A backcountry skier was killed in a huge avalanche Thursday on Jones Pass, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center reported.

He was caught just before 2 p.m., dug out and transported to a local hospital, where he died.

No one else was caught in the slide, which the avalanche center rated as R4, D4, meaning it was rated as a four out of five for its size relative to its path and destructive force.

Avalanche danger in the Front Range zone was rated as high Thursday.

The avalanche center also issued an avalanche warning for the Front Range, advising travelers to avoid travel in or below unstable terrain.

“These are exceptional avalanche conditions,” the warning read.

The man’s death is the seventh avalanche-related in the state this season and the second this week.

Another skier identified as 53-year-old Scott Spencer was killed in a slide Sunday near Telluride. The San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office said he was reported missing after when went skiing with his dog in the Matterhorn Nordic area. His dog was later found barking by his car.

Rescue teams and avalanche dogs recovered his body Monday.


This is the 19th skier/snowboarder death of the season in Colorado.

Other skier/snowboarder deaths that have occurred in Colorado this season include a skier death near Lizard Head Pass, an after-hours snowboarding death in Aspen, recent death at Winter Park, an avalanche-related death in Telluride, an 85-year-old that died following a Beaver Creek fall, two avalanche-related deaths near Crested Butte, a death at an Aspen terrain park, a backcountry touring death in Aspen, a death at Granby during night skiing, the death of a skier on Quandary Peak, the death of a 71-year-old at Breckenridge, a recent avalanche-related death, 21-year-old Daniel Giger (accident at Breckenridge), 26-year-old Bill Brockmuller (collision at Eldora), 53-year-old Daniel Mares of Arvada (cardiac event at Keystone Resort), 66-year-old Durwood Marshall of Silverthorne (cardiac event at Keystone Resort), and Bindu Sky Pomeroy (accident in Vail backcountry).

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