The Colorado avalanche kills two skiers in the region called "Death Pass"


Two backcountry skiers were killed this weekend in an avalanche in a Colorado region called "Death Pass," officials said.

Crested Butte Search and Rescue said in a Facebook message that the two backcountry skiers were missing Saturday night near the town of Crested Butte, and tracks were discovered leading to a fresh avalanche field near of the region called "Death Pass".

"No tracks coming out of the slide were found and weak beacon signals were located in the slide area," the group said.

A search and rescue group determined shortly after midnight that the conditions were too dangerous and the search was halted for the night, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. On Sunday, a team of six members of the Crested Butte search and rescue team found the bodies of these men.

"Our deepest condolences go to the families and friends of those involved," said the agency.

Owen Green
Owen GreenFacebook

Mount Crested Butte Police Service identified Aspen Times men as Owen Green, 27, of Aspen, and Michael Goerne, 37.

According to friends, they had been training for the Grand Traverse, a 40-mile backcountry ski race across the Elk Mountains. The two men were partners in the Crested Butte race in Aspen next month.

Green has been living in Aspen since 2015 and Goerne was the longtime founder and coach of the Aspen High School lacrosse team, The Aspen Daily News reported.

"This is a huge loss for our school, for our lacrosse team, for the community, not just for Aspen, but for the entire Roaring Fork Valley," said Martha Richards, Aspen Sports Director. High School, Aspen Times. "Mike and Owen have both touched so many kids."

Michael Goerne
Michael GoerneFacebook

Green's girlfriend, Kali Kopf, told the newspaper she was "the most generous person" and was always ready for outdoor adventures.

"It has had an impact on all the people he has crossed paths with," Kopf told the Aspen Times. "He made me a better person every day and the four years and more that I spent with Owen were the best of my life."

CAIC had has posted a special notice of avalanche on Twitter in parts of the region until Monday, due to "several violent storms" that affected Colorado throughout the weekend, resulting in heavy snowfall and high winds.

Over the last decade, the agency said February was the most dangerous month of avalanches in the state, reported CBS4.

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