Six killed in avalanches across western United States

Feb. 12, 2014 at 7:57 AM

HALFWAY, Ore., Feb. 12 (UPI) -- A series of avalanches in the western United States has killed six people and injured several others in recent days, officials said.

Two cross-country skiers died Tuesday in Oregon in an avalanche about 10 miles northwest of Halfway, the Baker County Sheriff's Office said.

The skiers were in a party of eight from the Seattle area, two of whom were seriously injured by the sliding snow, CNN reported Wednesday.

Last weekend, a snowmobiler and a snowshoer were killed by an avalanche in Utah, the Utah Avalanche Center said.

In two separate avalanches, two people were killed in Colorado, one near Kebler Pass, the other south of the Keystone Ski Area, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said.

"Cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making are essential. Travel in or below avalanche terrain is not recommended," the center said. "Veteran snow professionals are reporting triggered avalanches in well-documented avalanche paths that are breaking mature timber and behaving in surprising ways."

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