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Danger Of ‘Natural’ Avalanches Increased In The High Country

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CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The storm has made roads dangerous across Colorado and is also raising avalanche concerns.

A dozen avalanches have already been reported on Tuesday and that number will likely go up over the next few days.

One area that is prone to slides is called the “Seven Sisters” near Loveland Ski Area, which reported 10 1/2 inches of snow on the slopes Wednesday morning. The Seven Sisters is the most active slide area over a U.S. highway, according to Ethan Greene of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).

The Seven Sisters was blasted on Tuesday by the Colorado Department of Transportation so Loveland Pass could get back open.

There is now an Avalanche Warning throughout the state. In many of the zones that CAIC forecast for there are high conditions for avalanche danger. The concern isn’t just for backcountry skiers, which is the largest growing sect of the ski industry. Because of the high amount of snow that fell, it increases the possibility for a natural slide.

“With the heavy snowfall and a lot of wind, we will see natural activity. It is just a matter of whether we will get enough kind of rapid low to trigger it,” Greene said.

The Avalanche Warning is for mountains from the Front Range all the way to the San Juan Mountains. It will be in place until noon on Thursday.

LINK: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

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