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Man survives deadly avalanche near Durango

10:46 PM, Feb 5, 2013   |    comments
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DURANGO - One of the men involved in a deadly avalanche in Silverton over the weekend says the incident was unlike anything you could describe.

Nathan Klema was skiing in the back country with his friends Peter Carver and Duncan Rothwell. Klema accidentally triggered a massive 300-foot-wide avalanche, which swallowed the three men up.

"When I first felt myself sliding and felt the slide break I couldn't tell how big it was. I guess for me, it wasn't so much an avalanche is happening, just everything kind of changed. I felt myself sliding, and I'm pretty sure I heard Peter yelling there was a slide," Klema said.

Klema was able to latch a hold of a tree and eventually get away from the rushing snow. Klema made his way to Rothwell and was able to free him from the aftermath of the avalanche.

Klema then went to search for Carver. He was able to locate him with the help of a tracking beacon. Klema dug five feet in to the snow and found Carver dead.

"I remember being in range where I can talk to Duncan at the time I had uncovered Peter's face," Klema said.

Rothwell is currently in the hospital. He sustained broken bones in his legs as well as a few broken ribs, according to friends.

Carver is described as adventurous and an all around loving guy. His best friends say he would wake them up in the middle of the night just to hang out with them.

Carver was geology major. On Tuesday he was admitted in to the US Geological Society.

Carver's family says he lived an amazing life and they're proud of all he accomplished.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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