Colorado avalanche kills five snowboarders: sheriff

Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:10am EDT

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(Reuters) - Five backcountry snowboarders were killed and one survived an avalanche on Saturday at Colorado's Loveland Pass, a sheriff's department said.

Clear Creek County Sheriff Don Krueger told Reuters that the snowboarders apparently triggered the avalanche at the 11,990-foot (3,651-meter) pass about 75 miles west of Denver.

The avalanche occurred at about 1 p.m. just above the Loveland Ski Area, he said. The bodies are being recovered.

The deaths bring to 10 the number of slide-related fatalities in Colorado during the current ski season.

A snowboarder was killed by a human-triggered avalanche on Thursday at Vail, about 100 miles west of Denver, in an area known as "Avalanche Bowl."

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center this week listed the slide danger as "considerable" in the Vail area due to recent heavy snowfalls and shifting winds.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson and Keith Coffman; Editing by Paul Simao)

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