The Denver Post

OFFICIALS WARN AVALANCHE DANGER NOW “CONSIDERAB­LE”

- — Jake Shapiro, The Denver Post

If you are looking to take advantage of the late-season snow and catch one more day in Colorado’s backcountr­y, you should be careful. The Colorado Avalanche Informatio­n Center is warning of “considerab­le” avalanche danger for the northern mountains Wednesday.

“Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservati­ve decision-making essential,” the CAIC issue said.

The foot of snow which has blanketed some of Colorado’s high country can sit on old crusty snow and slide. Those slides are sometimes powerful enough to bury a person. They could trigger naturally, even from the sun.

“Look for deeper areas of wind-drifted snow as possible trigger points, especially on slopes steeper than 30 degrees,” Mike Floyd from CAIC said. “If you see natural wet avalanches or snowballs rolling out of steep, rocky areas, this is a good indicator that instabilit­y is increasing. If the sun comes out, this could happen in a matter of minutes. To mitigate wet avalanche concerns, start and end your day early.”

The 2020-21 avalanche season was particular­ly bad as 19 people were caught, 14 were buried and 12 were killed. Unstable snowpack throughout the winter caused the poor conditions.

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