Friend: 2 avalanche victims loved outdoors

Source: Men killed in Co. were from Portage

Published On: Feb 16 2014 07:55:51 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 17 2014 11:55:25 AM CST

A friend of the two Portage skiers killed in a Colorado avalanche says the two were close buddies who loved to spend time on the slopes and mountain-biking trails.

Joey Kindred of Tomah says he used to go skiing with 32-year-old Justin Lentz and 34-year-old Jarrard Law. Relatives say the two men were killed Saturday afternoon.

Kindred said Lentz and Law were kindhearted and smart, and both knew how to light up a room.

He said Lentz was the life of the party, always making people laugh and keeping everyone's energy high. And he said he never saw Law drink alcohol but Law would still show up to parties because he loved being around his friends.

He said both were huge fans of mountain biking.

The Lake County Office of Emergency Management says they and four other skiers triggered the slide on Star Mountain about 5 p.m. Saturday.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office says search and rescue crews found their bodies Sunday afternoon. Lentz' family told WISC-TV Lentz was a Portage High School graduate who was in Colorado on a skiing trip.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center had been warning of dangerous conditions across much of Colorado's mountains after two weeks of heavy snow in the high country.

The avalanche happened near Leadville, which is about 80 miles southwest of Denver.

Three other skiers were hospitalized with injuries that included a broken leg, a broken ankle and a possible broken rib and collapsed lung.

The CBS affiliate in Denver reported Sunday that one of the skiers was treated and released while the other two remained in the hospital.