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CAIC photo: This naturally triggered avalanche ran on Wednesday, Jan. 10 in the Tenmile Range. (Field report)
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) on Wednesday issued the following press release on a special avalanche advisory for mountainous areas of Colorado:
BOULDER – The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) issued a special avalanche advisory for mountainous areas of Colorado, alerting the public to dangerous avalanche conditions heading into Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. There have been fatal avalanche accidents around MLK weekend in four of the last 12 years.
“The avalanche danger is going to be higher and avalanche conditions are going to be trickier this coming weekend than what we’ve seen in the last few weeks,” said CAIC Director Ethan Greene. “It’s been a dry winter in Colorado, and we’re all excited that we are finally getting some snow. This holiday weekend, a lot of people will be getting out and into the mountains, and there are lots of great, safe places to go. We want people to check the avalanche forecast and make a plan that keeps them off of the dangerous slopes.”
Colorado has had an unusual period of low avalanche danger in December and early January. The advisory explains that new snow and winds through the holiday weekend will increase the avalanche danger statewide. Very dangerous avalanche conditions will develop in some regions, with the most dangerous conditions developing in the middle of the weekend. It will be easy to trigger large, widely-breaking avalanches capable of burying a person. Conditions will be more dangerous than they have been in weeks, so travel plans should be adjusted accordingly.
To see the avalanche forecast for your area or to learn more about avalanche safety, go to www.colorado.gov/avalanche. CAIC always urges backcountry travelers to educate themselves, travel with safety gear, and know the forecast.