Preliminary Report: On February 25, a group of four people and two dogs traveled to a backcountry home in the lower portion of Yule Creek, outside of the Town of Marble. The group traveled on snowshoes on an unmaintained road. Three of the people and both dogs moved to a road that cut mid-slope along the side of a steep gully. They triggered an avalanche and the moving snow pushed them down into the gully. The debris formed a deep pile in the gully bottom. Two people were partially buried, but able to dig themselves out of the snow. The other person and both dogs were completely buried and killed.
West Elk Mountain Rescue, Mountain Rescue Aspen, Carbondale Fire and Rescue District, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, and the Gunnison County Sheriff's Office responded and assisted two people in the group out of the field. They returned on February 26 and retrieved the final group member and dogs.
The avalanche was approximately 50 feet wide and ran 250 feet vertically. The face of the crown was 1 to 2 feet deep. It released on a west-facing, below-treeline slope.
We will update this report as more information becomes available and publish a final report on this accident in the next week.