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By Associated Press and Josh Gardner for MailOnline Published: 16:10, 8 January 2015 | Updated: 20:46, 8 January 2015 e-mail var twitterVia = 'MailOnline'; DM.later('bundle', function(){ DM.has('shareLinkTop', 'shareLinks', { 'id': '2902100', 'title': 'Colorado woman killed in avalanche studied snow science', 'url': 'http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2902100/Colorado-woman-killed-avalanche-studied-snow-science.html', 'eTwitterStatus': ' http://dailym.ai/14udni8 via @' + twitterVia, 'articleChannelFollowButton': 'MailOnline', 'isChannel': false, 'hideEmail': true, 'placement': 'top', 'anchor': 'tl'}); }); 15 shares 3 View comments DM.later('bundle', function(){ DMS.Article.init('top'); }); 3View commentsA Colorado woman who studied avalanches and the science of snow died Tuesday after falling victim to the very thing she found so fascinating.Friends of the 23-year-old, 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 and she later died at a hospital.Sad: Backcountry skier Olivia Buchanan, 23, of Durango, Colorado was swept into some trees by a small avalanche outside Silverton, Colorado on Tuesday (courtesy Emma Light Photography)Buchanan was studying geography, focusing on snow science, at Montana State University in Bozeman and had been an intern at the Silverton Avalanche School. She was on the Rabbit Ears avalanche path, also known as the Arcade path, of Kendall Mountain near Silverton, Colorado when the tragedy struck.Buchanan had been skiing with a male companion when the snow slid out from under her smashed her helplessly into a tree.Her companion then rushed to begin CPR, reports the Durango Herald.Rescuers first got word of the incident around 4pm, however a rescue helicopter could only unload workers and was unable to load the unconscious Buchanan because safety issues prevented them from landing.A search and rescue team was forced to shuttle Buchanan down from the site at 11,000 feet down the darkening mountain.She was then taken to a snowmobile and then a waiting ambulance. By then it was 7pm, authorities said.She was taken by helicopter to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Tragedy: The tragedy occurred on the Rabbit Ears avalanche path, also known as the Arcade path, of Kendall Mountain near Silverton, Colorado (pictured)Studied avalanche safety: The active skier and mountain climber had interned at the Silverton Avalanche School not far from the scene of the accidentFighting for her life: Rescuers fought to save Buchanan but a rescue helicopter was unable to fly her off the mountain. She was hauled down the mountain as the sun set, but couldn't reach a hospital until 7pm. She was then pronounced deadFriend 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. 'It's very tragic for the community up here,' said Donovan, who is director of the Silverton Avalanche School. Along with a photo of Buchanan in the snow, the Silverton school wrote on its Facebook:'We lost one of our own on January 6th. Olivia always had a great sense of humor and was very passionate about studying snow, avalanches and skiing. She will be missed. Our condolences to her friends and family.'Buchanan's body was to undergo an autopsy this week and authorities say the investigation is ongoing. Friends were shocked by the death of Buchanan, who many said was always the first to bring up issues of safety Share what you think The comments below have been moderated in advance. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. We are no longer accepting comments on this article.Published by Associated Newspapers LtdPart of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group







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