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2 Colorado men riding snowbikes died in avalanche north of Vail

The bodies of two snowbikers killed when a massive avalanche swept down a central Colorado mountainside have been recovered after a desperate, hours-long rescue effort failed to save their lives.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said three people were riding near Red and White Mountain in Eagle County, about 15 miles north of Vail, when the avalanche hit Saturday.

“One rider was partially buried and was able to extricate himself,” the center said in a statement.

But the avalanche carried the other two riders into a gully, where they were fully buried in debris from the 650-foot-wide wall of snow that roared 120 feet down the mountain. The survivor contacted authorities at about 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, Eagle County officials said.

Killed were Dillon Block, 28, and Cesar Almanza-Hernandez, 30. Both were from nearby Gypsum, Colorado.

Hunter Schleper of Vail said he and five friends had just returned to their trucks after riding when another group of riders told them that some people had been buried in an avalanche. The two groups went to the scene and dug for hours, Schleper said in a Facebook post.

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