Photographer at guided backcountry company killed in avalanche near Jones Pass while on the clock Thursday |

Photographer at guided backcountry company killed in avalanche near Jones Pass while on the clock Thursday

Eli Pace
Summit Daily

A 48-year-old man was killed in a backcountry avalanche Thursday in Clear Creek County. (Photo courtesy Colorado Avalanche Information Center)

FRISCO — A 48-year-old skier was caught, buried and killed in an avalanche Thursday afternoon near Jones Pass, west of Berthoud Pass, in Clear Creek County. Authorities have identified the man as Hans Berg of Empire.

Berg was an employee of Powder Addiction, a company that offers guided backcountry skiing and snowboarding tours via snowcats in the area.

Clear Creak Undersheriff Bruce Snelling said Berg was working as a photographer Thursday when he was dropped off below a group to get some photos and was caught in a massive avalanche.

Employees and patrons helped rescue Berg from the snow. He was taken to a metro area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

The cause remains under investigation. Snelling said Powder Addiction has a great track record in the county and, to his knowledge, has never had any issues or reported accidents in the past.

“This was truly just a tragic accident,” Snelling said.

Berg’s backcountry death came as numerous avalanches plagued the high country and covered many driving routes, including Interstate 70. Avalanche danger was extreme in the area Thursday and remains high across the central mountains. People are urged to stay out of the backcountry until the risk subsides.

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