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Avalanche Victim Was Former Backcountry Guide, Town Councilman

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. (CBS4) - The Gunnison County Coroner confirmed Sunday that 44-year-old Daniel Escalante was killed in Tuesday's avalanche on Mount Emmons.

Escalante was a former mountain guide and Crested Butte town councilman, according to the Crested Butte News, and had extensive backcountry experience.

Escalante was skiing in a group of four in the Climax Chutes when the snowslide broke. He was not buried, but suffered fatal injuries while colliding with trees during the slide.

avalanche presumed death credit CAIC
(credit: Colorado Avalanche Information Center)

A small team of rescuers entered the area Tuesday and pronounced Escalante deceased. A recovery operation was postponed until Wednesday as rescuers waited out dangerous snow conditions.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center confirms Escalante is the state's sixth avalanche death this winter season. Avalanche conditions continue to rate 'moderate' in all of the state's significant mountain ranges as snowmelt begins to pick up.

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