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Fresh Powder Great For Skiing, Raises Avalanche Danger

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SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- This week’s fresh powder is great for skiers and boarders who want to enjoy spring skiing in Colorado’s mountains but it’s concerning for those who monitor avalanche conditions.

“Shooting different kinds of materials into the avalanche to bring down the snow,” said Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Amy Ford.

Even those efforts can’t keep the heavy snow from coming down.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)


“Berthoud Pass, a few weeks ago, where we did have an avalanche come down in that area that we had mitigated the day before and some vehicles were caught there, so it’s a tricky winter,” said Ford.

Experts say that avalanche danger is dropping slightly now that spring has arrived but with more snow blanketing the high country that risk increases.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” said Colorado Avalanche Information Center spokesman Ethan Greene. “Most of the avalanches we’re seeing are in those new snow layers.”

Already eight people have died in avalanches across Colorado this season. As the temperatures rise so does the possibility for larger and more dangerous slides.

“So what we’re going to be looking for over the next six weeks or so is how the weather is changing from winter into spring and if we see a real rapid transition we have the potential to see some very large avalanches again,” said Greene.

Avalanche experts said that much of the avalanche danger is at or above treeline. They recommend anyone heading up to the mountains to check avalanche forecasts.

Much of the high country was under a “Considerable” level for March 28.

LINK: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

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