CAIC: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

2023/02/25 - Colorado - Red Lakes Trailhead, near La Manga Pass

Published 2023/02/27 by Ethan Greene - Forecaster, CAIC

Avalanche Details

  • Location: Red Lakes Trailhead, near La Manga Pass
  • State: Colorado
  • Date: 2023/02/25
  • Time: 12:00 AM (Estimated)
  • Summary Description: One snowmobiler caught, buried, and killed
  • Primary Activity: Snowmobiler
  • Primary Travel Mode: Snowmobile


  • Caught: 0
  • Fully Buried: 1
  • Injured: 0
  • Killed: 1


  • Type: HS
  • Trigger: AM - Snowmobile
  • Trigger (subcode): --
  • Size - Relative to Path: R3
  • Size - Destructive Force: D2.5
  • Sliding Surface: O - Within Old Snow


  • Slope Aspect: SE
  • Site Elevation: 10600 ft
  • Slope Angle: 35 °
  • Slope Characteristic: Planar Slope

Accident Summary

Preliminary Report: A snowmobiler was caught, buried and killed in an avalanche near La Manga Pass on February 25, 2023. The snowmobiler was riding with a group of 4 others when he was caught and buried in an avalanche near the Red Lakes trailhead. The group reported the accident and staff from the Conejos County Sheriff's Office, USFS, and Conejos County Search and Rescue searched the avalanche debris that evening. The searchers returned with more people, avalanche dog teams from the Wolf Creek Ski Area, forecasters from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, and many members of the local community on February 26. The search effort continued on February 27 with the aforementioned groups and additional help from CDOT, and search and rescue groups from Mineral, Rio Grand, and Alamosa counties. The rider was recovered around midday.    

Our sincere condolences go out to the rider's family and friends. We will issue a final report as soon as possible.