Jason Blevins, The Denver Post

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April 24, 2013
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Colorado avalanche at Loveland Pass ranks among nation's deadliest

Colorado avalanche at Loveland Pass ranks among nation’s deadliest,0215

Colorado avalanche at Loveland Pass ranks among nation’s deadliest

By Jason Blevins, The Denver Post

The avalanche that killed five experienced backcountry riders on the western flank of Mt Sniktau near Loveland Pass Saturday ranks as the deadliest involving skiers or snowboarders in the U.S. since records began to be kept in 1950.

It was the worst accident in Colorado since 1962, when an avalanche destroyed two houses near Twin Lakes, killing seven people inside the homes, according to Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

A February 1987 avalanche just outside Breckenridge ski area killed four skiers and until Saturday, that Peak 7 avalanche was ranked as the single deadliest avalanche for skiers in Colorado history.

In the U.S., Saturday’s avalanche was the worst in more than 14 years, according to American Avalanche Association.

On March 21, 1999, an avalanche killed six snowmobilers on Alaska’s Turnagain Pass. On the last day of 1993, an avalanche killed five snowmobilers in the Swan Range near Big Fork, Montana.

In late March 1982, an avalanche at the closed-for-the-season Alpine Meadows ski area in California swept into the base area, destroying buildings and burying 12 ski area workers. Seven of the 12 died.

In 1981, 11 climbers were killed in an avalanche on Mt. Ranier’s Ingraham Glacier, marking the most fatal accident in U.S. modern avalanche history.

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The VailDaily Updated Apr 24, 2013 05:32PM Published May 13, 2013 10:34AM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.