Parts of Summit County are under an avalanche watch through Saturday, Dec. 3

An avalanche near Idiot's Cornice off of Loveland Pass is pictured Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. The Frying Pan Wilderness through Summit County is under an avalanche watch through Saturday morning.
Colorado Avalanche Information Center/Courtesy photo

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued an avalanche watch for The Frying Pan Wilderness through Summit County to Berthoud Pass. The warning went into effect at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 30, and will expire at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3.

On Thursday, The Frying Pan Wilderness was forecast at a 3 out of 5 on the center’s danger scale for areas that are above or near tree line. The forecast for Friday morning shows an increase to a 4 on the danger scale.

On Thursday, areas that were below tree line were rated as “low,” or a 1 out of 5, but following a similar trend, the forecast says Friday morning will move the danger to “considerable,” or a 3 out of 5.

According to the center’s website, dangerous conditions are expected to continue through Saturday as a winter storm makes its way through the area.

Avalanches can be triggered in areas where about a foot of recent snow is on top of older, weaker snow.

Shooting cracks, pictured here on Wednesday, Nov. 30, are a sign that an avalanche could easily be triggered.
Colorado Avalanche Information Center/Courtesy photo

“Watch for signs of drifting, like smooth, fat-looking pillows and building cornices,” the warning states. “Move to wind-sheltered, low-angle slopes if you see shooting cracks or hear an audible collapse.”

The center warns that east- to north-facing slopes could produce large wind-slab and persistent-slab avalanches.

For more information, visit

A screenshot taken from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s website shows the parts of Summit County that are under an avalanche watch. The watch was issued at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 30.
Colorado Avalanche Information Center/Screenshot

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