By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A snowmobiler was killed in an avalanche near Encampment over the weekend, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
The snowmobiler triggered the avalanche on Saturday afternoon, was buried by massive amounts of snow and died. The avalanche occurred on a northeast-facing mountainside near Willow Park at an elevation of around 10,000 feet.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the friends and family, and everyone involved in this accident,” center officials wrote on the website.
The snowmobiler had not been identified as of Monday afternoon, but center officials said they would update the report as more information became available.
According to the center, this is the first person in Wyoming to be killed in an avalanche this season. Twelve people have been killed over the 2021-2022 season: three skiers, six snowmobilers and three climbers, hikers or snowshoers.
Four of those deaths occurred in Montana and four took place in Colorado.
Thirty-seven avalanche-related deaths occurred in the 2020-2021 season, four in Wyoming.
The center noted that snowmobile use is generally the second-most frequent cause of avalanches because of the stress the machines apply to the snowpack.
The most frequent cause of avalanches was identified as the “backcountry tourer.”