Considerable avalanche danger can be more hazardous than high danger

Statistics show that avalanche fatalities are more likely as the avalanche risk lowers.

Cory Reppenhagen
A clear view could be seen from Peak 9 at Breckenridge Ski Resort in early December 2022.
Ed Keim/Courtesy photo

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said there have been 329 avalanches over the first eight days of December, 64 triggered by humans. Six people were involved in avalanche incidents, but no injuries have been reported.

More than five feet of fresh snow has fallen in some parts of the mountains since Dec. 1, but the stormy conditions are forecast to clear by the weekend.

The information center said high avalanche danger should subside as the snow settles, but they warn backcountry enthusiasts to not let their guard down under the sunny skies.

“Likely we will still have a lot of considerable, so level 3 out of 5 across the state,” said the center’s director Ethan Greene. “That’s a very dangerous time period for people because it’s often when the avalanche conditions are not quite so obvious.” 

He said historically most avalanche fatalities happen as the danger levels go down because that’s when there is the most activity in the backcountry.  


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