SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Heavy snow piling up on a weak layer of snow in the high country is increasing the risk of avalanches.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center stepped up alerts for Summit County, Vail and Gunnison on Tuesday, warning of the real risk of life threatening slides.

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(credit: CBS4/Colorado's Weather Center)

(credit: CBS4/Colorado’s Weather Center)

“Conditions are really ripe for avalanches right now,” said Summit County Rescue Group spokesman Matthew Hage.

Four snowboarders triggered an avalanche outside of Breckenridge on Sunday. Both survived but one boarder was buried up to his neck.

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“You don’t go out into the backcountry hoping on luck, you go out into the backcountry hoping on knowledge and experience,” said Hage. “They were extremely fortunate, for sure. They were extremely fortunate. They were in an area that was very quickly accessible by the Breckenridge Ski Patrol that there was a protocol in place.”

CBS4's Matt Kroschel interviews Summit County Rescue Group Matthew Hage (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Matt Kroschel interviews Summit County Rescue Group Matthew Hage (credit: CBS)

“Luckily in this situation we were able to help in the search and rescue of these individuals but that may not always be the case,” said Breckenridge Ski Area spokeswoman Kristen Stewart.

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The avalanche warnings in place through Wednesday in the high country.

Breckenridge (credit: CBS)

Breckenridge (credit: CBS)