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Avalanche near Conejos Peak kills backcountry skier, seventh Colorado fatality this season

Throughout the past several months, we've been keeping you up to date on the startling number of fatal avalanches that have taken place this season in Colorado and throughout the west.

At last count, there have been nineteen avalanche deaths this season in the U.S., with seven in Colorado -- including one that occurred yesterday in a particularly gorgeous area in the southern part of the state.

Here's what we know about the latest tragedy, supplemented by videos and a map.

According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, a backcountry skier died on March 4 in an area south of Platoro Reservoir near Conejos Peak.

The latter is just shy of fourteener elevation and is well known as a scenic place to hike, as seen in this video:

The area is also a favorite of mountain bikers and motorcyclists no matter the weather -- a status epitomized by this clip.

Platoro Reservoir, meanwhile, is a popular destination during the summer months, and is prized by those who love fishing.

Members of the information center staff plan to visit the site today in order to glean more information about precisely what happened and when regarding the latest slide.

In the meantime, CAIC warnings show that the avalanche danger in much of southern Colorado is rated as "considerable," as shown in the following graphic:

The center's preliminary report ends with this line: "We extend our sincere condolences to family and friends."

We second this thought, and add: Be careful out there.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our News archive circa February 13: "Photos: Six dead in western avalanches since Saturday, including Colorado's Ashleigh Cox."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts