Top 5 most-read stories last week: Monsoon season, Bald Mountain avalanche and the beginning of spring runoff |

Top 5 most-read stories last week: Monsoon season, Bald Mountain avalanche and the beginning of spring runoff

Pictured is Maryland Creek Park in Silverthorne during summer 2020. If all goes well, monsoon conditions could bring extra precipitation to Summit County this summer.
Shane Morris/town of Silverthorne

Stories in this list received the most page views on in the past week.

1. The West could get a monsoon this summer — what does that mean?

Monsoon conditions are expected to make their way up through the desert southwest of the United States, and if conditions are right, it could affect local weather during the hot summer months.

“The monsoon is not like when you hear monsoon thunderstorms. That’s really kind of a misnomer,” said Greg Hanson, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Boulder. “The monsoon term is actually for just this airflow coming up out of the south bringing moisture with it.”

Normally, he said, monsoon conditions would be set to create above-normal precipitation conditions in areas south and west of the Four Corners. Hanson said Colorado is in sort-of a “transition zone,” and it could be hit-or-miss. However, he said he does think there’s a decent chance Summit County could see effects.

— Eliza Noe

2. Half-mile avalanche shaves snow from Bald Mountain

Avalanche season isn’t over yet.

A pair of skiers triggered a domino-effect of an avalanche April 26 at Bald Mountain east of Breckenridge, estimated at half a mile wide and up to 10 feet deep, according to Colorado Avalanche Information Center officials.

An avalanche in wind-tossed snow unsettled two lower layers of snow, one after the other, resulting in a major avalanche. No one was caught or hurt by it.

According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s report, the first skier triggered a 50-foot-wide windslab. The skier escaped to a predetermined safe zone. The windslab, in turn, triggered another slab 3 to 4 feet deep below.

When those slabs neared the bottom of the chute, the entire left side of the chute broke, sending a third slab of snow sliding to the bottom.

— Luke Vidic

3. What to expect from Summit County’s spring runoff season, according to the experts

Temperatures are getting warmer and snow has begun to melt, signaling the beginning of spring runoff season.

Local water experts gathered together for a workshop about what to expect, and many said that drought conditions will continue. Troy Wineland, Summit County’s water commissioner for the Blue River Basin, said that all 64 counties in Colorado have been given drought-affected designations, per the United States Department of Agriculture.

“We’re truly in uncharted territory with respect to the Colorado River Basin,” he said, adding that across the West, reservoirs are failing to fill or reach capacity.

For Summit County, precipitation since October has been feast or famine — with some months being well below average to others being on par or close to it in other months.

Kevin Houck, chief of watershed and flood protection for the Colorado Water Conservation Board, said that Summit County is doing better than other parts of the state — particularly the southwest, where run-off had already begun, and there’s not much snow left to melt.

— Eliza Noe

4. Breckenridge’s Buy-Down program already at half of its 2022 goal

The town of Breckenridge’s Buy-Down Program has reached half of its goal as of April 26, meaning that the town has bought at least 12 homes to sell back to the local workforce.

Corrie Burr, the housing program manager for the town, said via email that as of April 28, 13 properties were purchased to sell back to community members. She added that the team’s relationships with local real estate agents has helped in reaching this portion of 2022’s goal so far.

In Breckenridge’s Buy-Down Program, housing officials purchase homes for sale, place a local workforce restriction on the property and sell the home at a reduced price. This year, the goal was 24 homes — more than double what was bought last year.

— Eliza Noe

5. New Summit County restaurants offer global cuisine with a local touch

As summer approaches, Summit County locals and visitors have plenty of new restaurants to try.

Over the past few months, Colorado Marketplace and Bakery in Silverthorne, Steilhang Hut at Arapahoe Basin and Vue Rooftop Bar and Restaurant in Dillon have opened their doors. The restaurants offer a wide array of food options from specialty made cakes to craft cocktails and German-inspired meals.

Colorado Marketplace and Bakery is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Steilhang Hut is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays through June 5. The Vue Rooftop is open from 3-10 p.m. daily.

— Libby Stanford

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