Skier killed in northern Colorado avalanche ID'd

Published: Dec. 8, 2019 at 10:29 PM MST
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A backcountry skier was killed over the weekend when she was caught in an avalanche west of Fort Collins.

The snowpack broke off Diamond Peak around 2:45 Sunday afternoon, sweeping up the 29-year-old and then burying her underneath the snow. Members of her group and other people in the area dug her out, but she was not breathing and was pronounced dead after first responders with Larimer and Jackson counties got on scene.

The skier has been identified as Michelle Lindsay of Fort Collins. An autopsy found Lindsay died of asphyxiation.

Based on a preliminary report by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), the avalanche was 2-3 feet deep, "very" wide, and nearly 500 vertical feet.

The CAIC says the woman is the first person killed in an avalanche in Colorado this season.

"Our deepest condolences to the friends and family of the deceased, and everyone affected by this accident," the agency said in a brief statement on its website.

An avalanche forecast map shows a moderate to considerate avalanche risk throughout Colorado's high country.