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Four die in two days after string of deadly avalanches sweep across the USOn Saturday, a skier was killed in Colorado's Rockies after causing slideHe was found dead while a second man found alive buried for 90 minutesOther deaths on Friday were in Utah, Wyoming and New Hampshire
Mail Foreign Service
17:33 GMT, 4 March 2013
08:00 GMT, 5 March 2013
A backcountry skier has been killed and another critically injured after they triggered an avalanche in a Colorado mountain pass, in the fourth such fatality in two days as snowslides swept across the US.
The unnamed skier's death came less than 24 hours after a snowmobiler died in Utah, a skier
in Wyoming and a climber in New Hampshire.
The two men in Colorado were cross-country skiing Saturday on the western side of Cameron Pass, about 135 miles northwest of Denver, when they were buried in the avalanche, said Kent Minor, manager of State Forest State Park.
'There were two sets of ski tracks going in, so the assumption is they caused the avalanche,' Minor said, adding that the slab of snow and ice that broke loose was a quarter-mile wide and 300 to 400 yards long.
Beautiful and dangerous: The two men were cross-country skiing on Saturday in a section of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, about 135 miles northwest of Denver, when they were buried in the avalanche
The two skiers were outfitted with avalanche-locator beacons, and rescuers on snowmobiles reached them late Saturday afternoon after battling through deep snow and steep, rugged terrain, he said.
The first skier they reached was found dead, and rescuers then dug out the second man, who had been buried for 90 minutes, Minor said. Neither victim has been identified.
Minor said it took rescuers on snowmobiles, snowshoes and snow sleds more than five hours to get the injured man to a spot where a helicopter could land and airlift him to the hospital, where he was listed in critical but stable condition.
Crews returned to the area on Sunday morning to retrieve the body of the dead skier, Minor said. A dog that accompanied the pair has not been located, he said.
Scott Toepfer, a forecaster with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, said Saturday's incident was the fourth avalanche-related death in Colorado this season and the 13th nationwide.
Toepfer said the Colorado fatality brought to four the number of U.S. avalanche deaths so far in March, including a snowmobiler in Utah, a skier in Wyoming and a climber in New Hampshire who were all killed in separate snowslides on Friday.
In a typical year, 25 people in the United States perish in avalanches, he said.