Snowmobiler dies in Buffalo Pass accident

Derek Maiolo/Steamboat Pilot & Today

A man died Wednesday afternoon while snowmobiling with friends on Buffalo Pass northeast of Steamboat Springs.

First responders received a call just before 1 p.m. about a snowmobile accident near Dry Lake Campground, according to Lt. Ryan Adrian with the Routt County Sheriff’s Office. At that time, the victim was unresponsive and CPR was being performed, he said.

The 32-year-old Minnesota man was trying to climb a steep, near-vertical side of a hill on his snowmobile, Adrian said. One of the man’s friends witnessed the sled upend as it reached the top of the hill and fall on top of the man, according to Adrian. The man’s name will not be released until his family has been notified.

The friend got to the man’s body within two minutes of the accident and pulled the sled off his body, Adrian said. The man was unresponsive, so the friend immediately performed CPR.

The man was wearing a helmet and had an avalanche backpack, Adrian said. 

Sheriff’s deputies, Routt County Search and Rescue volunteers and Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters responded to the incident. 

Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg also responded to the scene and confirmed the impact of the sled falling on the man is what killed him. An autopsy will be performed Thursday, Dec. 19.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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