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Skier, 4 snowboarders killed in avalanche ID'd

DENVER -- The names of four Colorado snowboarders and a skier killed in the state's deadliest avalanche in more than 50 years were released Sunday.

Clear Creek County Sheriff Don Krueger said search and rescue crews recovered the men's bodies from a backcountry area on Loveland Pass several hours after Saturday afternoon's slide, which was estimated to be about 600 feet wide and eight feet deep. All of the men were equipped with avalanche beacons.

Kruger said they were Christopher Peters, 32, of Lakewood; Joseph Timlin, 32, of Gypsum; Ryan Novack, 33, of Boulder; Ian Lanphere, 36, of Crested Butte; and Rick Gaukel, 33, of Estes Park. Another snowboarder, identified by friends as Jerome Boulay, was buried, but survived. His condition was not disclosed.

The Denver Post said the men, all experienced in extreme terrain, were participating in an event to raise money for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

Snowboarder Mike Bennett of Dillon said he dug through hard-packed snow to help free Boulay before finding two others about two feet below the surface. "They were wrapped around each other, below a patch of trees," he said. -- AP

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