Avalanche Center forecasts high danger for Summit on Sunday | SummitDaily.com

Avalanche Center forecasts high danger for Summit on Sunday

CAIC: Avoid travel on or underneath avalanche terrain

Search and rescue organizations from around the state gathered off of Vail Pass Thursday, March 11, for a mock avalanche rescue.
Sawyer D'Argonne / sdargonne@summitdaily.com

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center forecasts high avalanche danger — 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 — above and near treeline for the Vail and Summit County zone on Sunday.

The forecast predicts very dangerous avalanche conditions above and near treeline, and the center does not recommend travel on or underneath avalanche terrain.

The center forecasts the danger below treeline to be considerable, the third level.

The center said with the weekend storm’s easterly winds, recreators can expect to find a wind slab avalanche problem with drifted snow in unusual places. That includes north- to west-facing slopes at higher elevations building small slabs that, as fresh snow accumulates, could slide.

The center added there might be some lingering pockets of old snow to worry about, though new snow issues should be recreators’ primary focus. The center also cautioned of potential failures deeper in the snowpack in heavy-hit areas.

Statewide, the center issued an avalanche watch for the Front Range, Vail-Summit, Sawatch, Aspen and Gunnison zones. In its statewide warning, the center said large and dangerous avalanches “will be easy to trigger and some will run naturally during periods of intense snowfall.”

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