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Two missing skiers found dead by emergency beacons: 5 survive Colorado avalanche

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The two missing skiers found dead on Sunday after a Colorado avalanche were wearing emergency beacons which helped searchers locate the bodies. The two missing skiers had been part of a group of seven who were caught in an avalanche in the rugged backcountry east of Aspen on Saturday. According to a Feb. 16, 2014, The Denver Post report, “emergency workers on Sunday recovered the bodies of two skiers killed in an avalanche in Lake County, carrying the victims down from a mountainside on sleds.”

On Saturday, the group of seven skiers was caught in an avalanche eight miles west of Twin Lakes Village on Colorado 82. At the time of the avalanche, the skiers were near the top of a ridge and authorities believe that the group triggered the avalanche.

Five of the skiers were able to be rescued on Saturday afternoon. Two skiers sustained no injuries and three of them were taken to a hospital with a broken leg, broken ankle, a possible broken rib, and a collapsed lung.

The search for the remaining two skiers had to resume on Sunday morning. “Searchers braved ‘very, very steep’ terrain and high risks of another snowslide while following signals from the emergency beacons the skiers wore,” said emergency management spokeswoman, Susan Matthews.

Susan Matthews added that a record level of snow this winter and changing wind patterns have combined to create very unstable conditions on Colorado’s mountains. "For those people who are not prepared to be in those backcountry conditions, unfortunate incidents happen."

The area where the two missing skiers were found dead was near the area where the other skiers were discovered. Without emergency beacons, however, they might have never been located.

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