An Aptos High graduate and native of Santa Cruz County was one of the four people who died in an avalance Saturday in Colorado.
Rick Gaukel, 33, was snowboarding in backcountry near Loveland Pass, Colorado, in an event "called the Rocky Mountain High Backcountry Bash," the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported.
Four snowboarders, including Gaukel, and a skier were on the mountain when an avalanche "600 feet wide and 8 feet deep" fell upon them.
One, Jerome Boulay, was buried but was recovered alive.
Gaukel was an experienced snowboarder who taught at a school for "at-risk youth," the newspaper reported. He leaves behind a wife, 33-year old Jonna Book.
He surfed, skateboarded and climbed ice and rocks. He lived in Hawaii, North Carolina and New Hampshire before moving to Colorado, the newspaper reported.
A memorial service is planned for May 4.