10 Avalanches In Past Eight Days In Colorado High Country
Spring is gradually awakening, but the threat of dangerous avalanches continues in the Colorado mountains.
You may have not been hearing much about avalanches in recent weeks, but they are definitely happening and they remain a threat.
Avalanche Danger Continues in Colorado
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports a total of 10 separate avalanches over the past eight days involving 13 people. Fortunately, nobody has been hurt in these slides as most of them have been small. Only one reached D2 level in size, which is big enough to bury or kill a person.
Over the weekend, a thin, skier-triggered avalanche was captured on video on Mt. Hunter. The soft slab ran about 1500 vertical feet and according to the CAIC "entrained a substantial amount of debris as it traveled downhill. It's easy to see how a person could be injured or killed - being slammed into rocks by debris or over a cliff.
Deadly Avalanche Season in Colorado
It has been a deadly avalanche season in Colorado where 12 people have lost their lives in snow slides. That is the highest total in nearly 30 years. According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, 12 people died in Colorado avalanches in 1993. Over the past 10 years, the state has averaged 6 avalanche deaths per year.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line for skiers and snowboarders, snowmobilers, snowshoes and hikers, is to be aware that there has been a continuation of human-triggered slab avalanches, especially in exposed alpine terrain. The CAIC calls the threat "worrisome." Warm temperatures and wind have added to the danger and snow enthusiasts need to continue to monitor conditions and exercise caution and good judgment when heading into the Colorado backcountry.
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