Five snowboarders were killed in Colorado Saturday by an avalanche while participating in a fundraising event for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center in what The Denver Post called the states deadliest avalanche in 50 years.

The victims, all described as expert backcountry snowboarders, were killed Saturday, April 20 above the Loveland Pass ski area. The avalanche occurred around noon at an elevation of approximately 12,000 feet on the north facing slope and measured 500 feet across and four feet deep. A sixth member of the party, the manager of a Colorado snowboarding shop, was buried up to his head for an about an hour when he was discovered by another snowboarder, according to one report. All six victims were participating in the Rocky Mountain High Backcountry Bash, which raises money for the CAIC. All were wearing locator beacons.


The tragedy came just two days after an avalanche claimed the life of a snowboarder in Vail Pass by washing him into a stand of trees. The victims companion survived the avalanche, which CAIC described as a persistent slab avalanche measuring 10 fee dept and 300 feet wide.
As of Monday, avalanches had claimed the lives of 11 people in Colorado, or nearly half of the 24 lost nationwide this winter, according to CAIC.