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One snowmobiler killed, one injured in Ruby Mountain avalanche
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One snowmobiler killed, one injured in Ruby Mountain avalanche

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Ruby Mountain Lakes

This map shows many of the lakes in the Ruby Mountains, including Castle Lake, where a deadly avalanche occurred Saturday morning.

ELKO – One snowmobiler died and another was seriously injured Saturday morning in an avalanche in the Ruby Mountains.

Three young men from the Elko area were snowmobiling near Castle Lake high in the mountains above Lamoille Canyon when the avalanche occurred shortly before noon. Elko County Undersheriff Justin Ames said one of them was able to make it down and call for help around 11:53 a.m.

A rescue crew from Ruby Mountain Heli-Ski helped bring the injured man to safety. He apparently suffered a broken leg and clavicle, and was flown to Salt Lake City for treatment, Ames said.

The other snowmobiler remained buried. A recovery effort is planned Sunday morning and Lamoille Canyon will be closed beginning at 6 a.m. for safety purposes, according to Ames. 

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He believed the three men were in their late teens or early 20s. Names have not been released.

Avalanches are common in the Ruby Mountains, which is part of the Humboldt National Forest, but injuries are rare.

Several snowmobilers, skiers and other recreationists have died in avalanches across the West this month following heavy snow. A snowmobiler in the Sawtooth Mountains of central Idaho died Friday after trigging an avalanche, according to the Associated Press.

More information on the Elko County incident will be reported when it becomes available.

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