Names of Avalanche Victims Released

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Authorities have released the names of five snowboarders who were killed Saturday afternoon in a back country avalanche on Colorado's Loveland Pass.

Clear Creek County Sheriff Don Krueger identified the victims Sunday as

32-year-old Christopher Peters, of Lakewood;
32-year-old Joseph Timlin, of Gypsum;
33-year-old Ryan Novack, of Boulder;
36-year-old Ian Lanphere, of Crested Butte; and
33-year-old Rick Gaukel, of Estes Park.

A sixth snowboarder caught in the avalanche reportedly called for help after digging out of the slide, and the bodies were recovered several hours later. The victims all had avalanche beacons.

The condition of the lone survivor was not released.

Krueger said authorities are pretty certain the snowboarders triggered the avalanche, which he said was about 600 yards wide and eight feet deep.

The Colorado Department of Transportation closed a highway as many skiers were headed home from nearby Arapahoe Basin ski resort.

Lisa Clarke Devore, who was headed back to Denver from the resort, told The Associated Press she saw a fire truck and ambulance on the pass, as well two search dogs headed into the area of the slide. She says she saw several ambulances, including one towing snowmobiles, headed toward the pass.

The pass, elevation of 11,990 feet, is popular among back country skiers and snowboarders.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center warned skiers and hikers Sunday of potentially dangerous back country conditions after several inches of snow fell in the area earlier in the week.