Colorado Avalanche Information Center issues special avalanche advisory through Monday
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center on Saturday morning issued a special avalanche advisory in effect for the mountains of Colorado through Monday.
In the advisory, the CAIC said avalanche conditions are dangerous right now throughout the state.
“Backcountry travelers can easily trigger very large and deadly avalanches,” the advisory read. “Avalanches may break across terrain features and run long distances.”
The CAIC also said in the advisory on Saturday morning that, in the past week, the CAIC has documented six people caught in avalanches, 34 avalanches triggered by backcountry travelers and 168 avalanches in total.
“Backcountry travel this weekend will require conservative decision making, cautious route finding, and careful snowpack and terrain evaluation,” the CAIC said in the advisory.
Also on Saturday morning, the CAIC forecast avalanche danger in Vail and Summit County as a 3 on a scale of 1-5, which is “considerable.” As of Saturday afternoon, the CAIC forecast level-3 considerable avalanche danger above and near tree line in Vail and Summit County, with level-2, “moderate” danger below tree line.
“Up to 12 inches of new snow and strong westerly winds have created dangerous avalanche conditions” the CAIC said in its avalanche summary for Vail and Summit County. “You can easily trigger a deadly avalanche that breaks 2 to 3 feet deep in the new storm snow or deeper on weak layers buried in the snowpack. Drifted areas near and above tree line facing north to east to south where thick slabs have formed are the most likely places you can trigger a large avalanche. Look for new cornice growth along ridges or smooth, rounded surfaces as an indication of dangerous wind-drifted snow. A report from Vail Pass yesterday shows the potential for trigger slides from a distance away or from adjacent terrain. Safe travel in or around avalanche terrain will require cautious route finding. Give steep slopes a wide berth or simply avoid avalanche terrain to help stay safe.”
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