The snow has arrived in Colorado in full force, and so has avalanche season. And unfortunately, a Fort Collins man is the first victim in this year's avalanche season.

According to Jackson County Coroner George Crocket, who confirmed the identity and age of the avalanche victim Tuesday as 54-year-old Ralph Eberspacher of Fort Collins, he and his staff are currently awaiting the results of the autopsy to fully determine the cause of death.

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Eberspacher was an avid backcountry skier and mountain biker who was fully buried in the avalanche on South Diamond Peak near Cameron Pass on Christmas Eve.

According to the CAIC, twelve people, including nine skiers, two snowmobilers, and one snowboarder were killed in avalanches during the 2020-21 season.

Eberspacher was well-known in the Fort Collins community as someone who loved adventuring in the great outdoors - he started Northern Colorado Grassroots Riders, which is an organization of local mountain bikers who gather for races, trail maintenance and charity events while serving as advocates for the sport.

He was also the manager and buyer for Lee’s Cyclery for five years back in the day in the mid-90's and more recently worked for Niner Bikes, a local mountain bike manufacturer.

He also worked locally in real estate and property management.

A Facebook page was recently created by family members to help display and celebrate the life of Ralph Eberspacher.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to the Eberspacher family and their friends during this time.

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