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Colorado avalanche kills 5 with the bodies finally being identified by authorities

By Gabrielle Washington,

This weekend authorities have identified the five bodies that were seen as dead because of the most fatal avalanche witnessed in Colorado in 50 years.

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Many hours after Saturday’s avalanche reaching 600 feet wide, and 8 feet deep, sheriff Don Krueger of Cave Creek County discovered the snowboarders missing bodies with help from the search and rescue teams. According to The Associated Press, the men were found on Loveland Pass, which is a back country area way past the time of the initial avalanche.

Ethan Greene, who is the director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, had said for the past week and a half there had been a systematic weakness in the snow pack that was aggravated by heavy snow that fell on the Pass.

"It's been something that's been giving us problems all winter," he said. "But the snow storms that have been coming in this spring have just created a large slab on top of it."

According to Denver Post, the bodies were identified as: Ian Lamphere, 36, from Crested Butte, Rick Gaukel, 33, from Estes Park, Christopher Peters, 32, from Lakewood; Ryan Novack, 33, from Boulder; and Joseph Timlin, 32, from Gypsum.

Based on the unusual weather this spring, Dale Atkins who is the president of the American Avalanche Association, sends out his warnings if anyone wants to go out riding on the slopes this season: "This would be a slope that looks like a lot of fun for good riders." he said. "But the conditions this spring are unusual, and unusual conditions result in unusual avalanches. You really need to dial it back this spring."

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