PRELIMINARY: An avalanche caught three backcountry tourers (two skiers and one splitboarder) in upper Rapid Creek, southwest of the town of Marble on Friday, March 17, 2023. Two members of the group were injured and one was completely buried in the avalanche. Rider 1 hiked out of the backcountry to get help. Medical and search and rescue teams evacuated Skier 1 by helicopter. Search and Rescue teams located Skier 2 buried about four feet deep in avalanche debris on Saturday, March 18. Skier 2 was killed in the avalanche. The avalanche released on an east-northeast aspect above treeline. It broke two to three feet deep, 300 to 500 feet wide, and ran 2400 vertical feet.
Groups involved in the included Gunnison County Sheriff's Office, Colorado Search and Rescue Association, Mountain Rescue Aspen, West Elk Rescue Group, Flight for Life, Careflight of the Rockies, and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.