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Falling ice block triggers avalanche, kills climber near Ouray

Posted at 8:32 PM, Jan 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-18 22:45:04-05

OURAY, Colo. — An ice climber died after getting caught up in a small avalanche near Ouray Saturday, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

The female climber, who was not actively climbing and untethered at the time, was in the Uncompahgre Gorge south of Ouray when the avalanche occurred around 10:30 a.m.

The Ouray County Coroner's Office identified the victim as 44-year-old Van Le Little of Seattle, Washington.

Little was standing near the bottom of an ice climb when the block of ice broke from above, triggered a small avalanche and swept the victim down further, according to the CAIC.

The snow and ice carried Little to a nearby creek where she was found buried.

This is the first reported avalanche death in Colorado this year and the second avalanche death of the season.