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Backcountry skier reflects on survival and choices after he’s swept away by an avalanche

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13min 02sec
Stina Sieg / CPR News
Sheamus Croke, Scott Benge and Kane Scheidegger in downtown Telluride. Croke and Scheidegger helped unbury Benge after he was caught in an avalanche near Ophir, Colorado on December 31, 2022.

Avalanches kill more people in Colorado than in any other state — an average of six a year. Scott Benge from Telluride nearly became a part of that statistic. The experienced backcountry skier was buried by an avalanche and likely only survived because of the quick actions of others around him.

Courtesy Kane Scheidegger
Scott Benge from Telluride skiing shortly before he was caught in an avalanche on New Year's Eve near Ophir. The quick actions of his companion and other backcountry skiers saved his life.