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Man dies in Christmas Day avalanche in Colorado

<i>Mapbox</i><br/>A 44-year-old man died in an avalanche in Colorado on Christmas Day.
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A 44-year-old man died in an avalanche in Colorado on Christmas Day.

By Rebekah Riess, CNN

A 44-year-old man died in an avalanche in Colorado on Christmas Day, authorities said.

Four people were caught in the slide on Berthoud Pass near the town of Winter Park. Two of them were buried, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office said.

Bystanders and family members helped rescue one. But when the second person was found, lifesaving efforts failed and the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The avalanche was reported around 12:50 p.m. Sunday.

Avalanche deaths usually spike in January and February, but avalanches can form anytime if the right conditions are present.

“Early season snowpack can be highly unstable because of the lack of consistent storms,” said CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam. “Once the storm door is open to more frequent snow events in January and February, snow begins to pile up in layers on top of the unstable, early season snowfall.”

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