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Approaching Storm, 2 Recent Deaths Have Avalanche Rescue Crews On High Alert

By Matt Kroschel

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - A winter storm with the potential of dropping a foot of new snow in Colorado's High County has avalanche rescue crews on high alert.

Summit County Rescue Group Information Officer Charles Pitman says they are watching areas on Loveland and Vail passes for the potential of skier and snowboarder triggered slides.

Charles Pitman
CBS4's Matt Kroschel interviews Summit County Rescue Group Information Officer Charles Pitman (credit: CBS)

The new threat comes days after two people died in separate avalanches in Colorado.

"Colorado isn't the most deadly avalanche state in the country for nothing, our snow conditions and the number of folks out recreating are a dangerous mix," Pitman said.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says one fatal slide took place last Thursday in Gunnison County on Kebler Pass. Two people riding on a snowmobile unintentionally triggered the avalanche.

Kebler Pass avalanche
The slide on Kebler Pass (credit: Colorado Avalanche Information Center)

On Saturday, Jan. 16, the Clear Creek Sheriff's Office and Alpine Rescue were notified of a missing hiker in the area of St. Mary's Glacier. After an intense search, the body of Todd Mussleman, 50, from Denver, was discovered by search crews in an avalanche in the area where the hiker was traversing. That search was hampered by high winds and blowing snow. It was officially the first avalanche death in Colorado this season.


Currently statewide conditions are listed as considerable to moderate but those can change quickly.

LINK: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.


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