Heavy snow creates dangerous backcountry conditions

Summit County - After nearly 4 decades living at the base of Buffalo Mountain in Summit County, Judy Brockmeyer will tell you this season has brought one of the busiest for clearing snow off the driveway.

"It's been a few years since we have had snow piles this high the depth of the snow is substantial," Brockmeyer said.

Lately anyone clearing snow knows that not only has there been a lot of snow but it's also not your typical light and fluffy Colorado powder, instead loaded with more moisture.

"Great snowball snow but really dangerous in the backcountry," said Brockmeyer.

In fact the amount of snow and how much water is in it has been what Colorado Avalanche Information forecasters Rebecca Hodgetts have been looking at.

"We have been looking at how much snow fell in this area about a foot and how much water is in that dictates the load on the snowpack," Hodgetts said.

On the Colorado Avalanche Information website you can see that earlier this week skiers without avalanche gear triggered and then got caught in slides near the Eldora ski area.

Friday heavy snow in a short amount of time caused an avalanche on Berthoud Pass trapping several cars.

Now with that new heavy wet snow mixing with much warmer temperatures avalanche forecasters have sent out an advisory for the mountains west of Denver warning of dangerous and deadly backcountry conditions until at least Sunday night.

"There are some concerns for the weekend ," said Hodgetts.

Heavy wet snow that has Judy spending a lot of time clearing the driveway and hoping that's the biggest problem this recent powder causes.

"Go onto the CAIC website, listen to what they say don't take chances. It's not worth it," Brockmeyer said


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