Avalanche kills backcountry skier in Clear Creek | SkyHiNews.com

Avalanche kills backcountry skier in Clear Creek

Justin Latici of Golden dug a fellow backcountry skier from a 15-foot-deep avalanche and performed CPR for 45 minutes in vain Sunday afternoon, according to the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office.

Kyle Shellberg, 32, of Golden was buried for about 20 minutes and did not survive. Latici, 31, was taken to a hospital with a leg injury after the slide at about 1 p.m. at Dry Gulch north of Interstate 70 near exit 216.

“They were skiing and triggered an avalanche,” said Bill Barwick, spokesman for the Alpine Rescue Team, which was assisted by the ski patrol from nearby Loveland Ski Area.

The avalanche was about 500 feet wide and ran for about 200 yards. Latici told authorities they skied down opposite sides of the gully, but when he stopped about one-third of the way down, he saw Shellberg swept away in the slide that also pulled him down.

Barwick did not know how deep in the 15-foot slide Shellberg was buried. The Sheriff’s Office said Latici found Shellberg using an emergency avalanche beacon before digging him out.

An emergency-room doctor, Rick Abbott, was skiing in the area when he heard Latici’s calls for help. He determined Shellberg was dead and skied out to find help, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Read more: Avalanche kills backcountry skier in Clear Creek County – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_16786672#ixzz17La1sVy1

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