GENESEE, Colo. (CBS4) – The Colorado Department of Transportation is doing what it can to keep drivers safe in the high country by conducting avalanche mitigation.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center warned drivers not to travel in avalanche terrain because of possible destructive slides.

Avalanche danger remains high on most mountain passes, which means hard work for crews working to keep travelers safe.

“As long as winter is here and as long as it’s snowing we’re going to be concerned and we’re going to continue our mitigation efforts,” said Tom Hurst from the CDOT Avalanche Mitigation Team.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Friday night crews worked to clean up Berthoud Pass after an avalanche covered part of the roadway on Thursday. Early Saturday morning they were back at it to make Loveland Pass safe for drivers.

“It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of snow for one of these avalanche paths to build up, come down, and affect somebody,” said Hurst.

According to experts, so far this year has been unique in the amount of sustained snowfall seen in a short period of time. They said it’s not something they see very often.

“In the last few years, yes, I think we’ve had more come down and more spectacularly than in recent years,” said Hurst.

CDOT officials said they’re doing their best to mitigate at a time that will have little effect on those traveling to the high country. However, they said when it comes to safety they’re not taking any chances.

“It’s life safety that we’re trying to help here. Life safety,” said Hurst.

The crews are working to prevent highway avalanches but when it comes to backcountry avalanches the CAIC said the risk is even higher.

They suggest anyone planning to do any backcountry skiing or boarding should be prepared and have the right kind of equipment with them.


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