Snowshoers who triggered fatal Colorado avalanche tried crossing 1 by 1 to avoid slide

Snowshoers who triggered a fatal avalanche in Colorado's central mountains tried crossing a treacherous area one by one in an effort to avoid a slide.

One person crossed without any problems, but the avalanche hit as 39-year-old Christopher Thomas of Colorado Springs traveled across. The two other snowshoers used an avalanche beacon to find him and dug him out in about 15 minutes, but he was dead. Searchers say he was buried in about 5 feet of snow.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says the group decided to cross after reaching an area they were worried about on a climb Wednesday to Torrey's Peak, a popular 14,000-plus-foot mountain about 50 miles from Denver.

The center says the snowshoers had been following tracks left by skiers.