COLORADO, USA — With fresh snow and a holiday weekend many people are expected to head into the mountains for some skiing, and when they do, avalanche danger is expected to be high, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).
“The first in a series of storms will increase the avalanche danger on Friday and Saturday," said CAIC director Ethan Greene.
Anyone headed into the mountains or backcountry for recreation should check the avalanche forecast before their trip at www.colorado.gov/avalanche.
"We recommend people avoid traveling on or under steep snow-covered slopes during periods of high avalanche danger. We want to make sure people get out, have some fun, but get home safe to spend time with their families," Greene said.
After a dry fall, the snowpack in Colorado is weak and storms in December produced an uptick in avalanche activity, according to CAIC.
Avalanches are easy to trigger, and many are breaking wider than usual, CAIC said. Over the past two weeks, backcountry travelers have triggered avalanches from low-angle slopes below, next to and above steeper slopes, according to the agency.
In order to be prepared, CAIC recommends that people check the avalanche forecast before going into the backcountry through their website or get the Friends of CAIC’s mobile app.
Before heading out, everyone is urged to look at the current avalanche conditions and plan backcountry travel accordingly. Everyone should carry an avalanche-rescue transceiver, a probe pole, and a shovel – and know how to use that equipment.
Anyone who is unsure about the conditions should stay on slopes less than 30 degrees steep that are not connected to steeper terrain.
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