(CBS4) – Relatively little snow has fallen thus far compared to years past, but avalanche forecasters recently raised warning flags following a pair of skier-triggered snowslides that prove conditions already exist that threaten the safety of anyone playing on Colorado mountain slopes.
Facebook posts from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center included video of the slides and suggestions that backcountry skiers stay clear of steeper slopes or simply wait for greater depth of solid snow.
Neither skier was injured.
The first occurred Tuesday near Independence Pass. The video shows a skier getting caught in the slide and pulled of his/her feet.
“This skier fortunately was not injured,” CAIC’s post states, “but you can see how easily a small avalanche can end your season early (or worse) as you get dragged across the ground and into shallowly buried obstacles.”
The second slide happened Friday in Mountain Boy Gulch, south of Independence Pass, on a north-facing slope.
The skier was traveling quickly and moved out of the slide’s path soon after the slide broke.
CAIC said dry snow from an October storm is now the weak base for additional depth. Both of the locations that slid last week are subject to drifting that proves attractive to early season recreationists.
“Attractive for riding,” CAIC stated, “but also the slopes with enough snow for avalanches.”