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Independence Pass opens after delay due to avalanche debris

Independence Pass finally opened for the season after being delayed due snow and avalanche debris.

ASPEN, Colo. — Better late than never. Independence Pass opened for the season around 2 p.m. Friday afternoon, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) said.

In a typical year, CDOT gets the road between Twin Lakes and Aspen open by the Thursday before Memorial Day. 

The pass closes on or around Nov. 7 each year and remains closed until the following May due to the narrow sections of the highway that, at times, are just wide enough for one car. There are also steep grades and drop-offs.

RELATED|  Avalanches, heavy snowfall could delay opening of Independence Pass

This year there were a few more challenges than usual. A snowslide called the Green Mountain Avalanche ran so large it went uphill.

“It came down, hit the bottom floor and the momentum brought it uphill I would say 150 feet uphill," said CDOT supervisor Tim Holbrook.

While the pass is open, because of all the remaining snow and avalanche debris drivers are reminded to take it slow and be aware of their surroundings as they enjoy the beauty of the scenic highway.

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