Friends of the 23-year-old Colorado woman who died after an avalanche swept her into some trees say she loved skiing and was educated about slide dangers.

A small slide hit backcountry skier Olivia Buchanan of Durango on Tuesday and she died at a hospital.

Buchanan was studying geography, focusing on snow science, at Montana State University in Bozeman and had been an intern at the Silverton Avalanche School.

Friend Taiya Andrews told The Durango Herald that Buchanan made her watch ski movies with her in the summer.

While the avalanche danger is rated moderate in Colorado's mountains, Silverton school director Jim Donovan says it's been difficult to evaluate risks. He says recent warm weather may have contributed to the avalanche that killed Buchanan, Colorado's second fatal slide in a week.