Backcountry skiers trigger avalanches in Summit County and Vail area
January 13, 2017
From the Colorado Avalanche Information Center:
Backcountry riders continue to trigger dangerous avalanches in the Vail and Summit County zone. Two of the reported slides on Thursday were large, but fortunately no serious injuries were reported. The avalanches occurred near Loveland Pass and Vail Pass. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said that these incidents show that storm instability is still widespread across many aspects and elevations throughout the zone.
Travel in the backcountry today should consist of cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making, the center said. Previously wind-loaded slopes that face north to east through southeast and are near ridgetop are the most suspect. However, the center said don’t let your guard down in areas sheltered from the wind. With the amount of snow the area’s gotten, slabs of storm snow can be up to 3 feet thick even in non wind-loaded areas. Pay attention to obvious signs of instability such as shooting cracks and evaluate the snowpack carefully before committing to any steep slope.