Avalanche warning in the Colorado mountains

An avalanche warning, indicating the likelihood of triggered and natural slides, is in effect through Jan. 18, 12 p.m. Click on the image to visit the CAIC online for more details.N

Slides kill 3 in Canada 7 others rescued at Fernie, B.C.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — New snow and high winds have prompted the Colorado Avalanche Information Center to issue an avalanche warning covering the mountains from Vail through Summit County and the Front Range. Human-triggered slides are likely on steeper wind-loaded slopes, especially those facing northeast through southeast. The warning is in effect through Jan. 18, 12 p.m.

The red-coded high avalanche danger rating means dangerous avalanche conditions with natural and triggered slides likely to very likely and the potential for large avalanches in many areas. Travel in the backcountry is not recommended.

Backcountry observers have reported human-triggered slides each of the last four days from around the Vail-Summit zone and the surrounding area, including a hard slab south of Hoosier Pass another small hard slab near Alma and a larger slide on Uneva Peak, near Vail Pass. Click here to get more snowpack details at the CAIC website.

In eastern B.C.’s Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, a skier was killed by an avalanche Jan. 16. Two other died Jan. 15 in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, near the Alberta-B.C. border. More details here.

Seven more skiers were rescued from an avalanche at Fernie Alpine Resort Jan. 16. More details here.

The most recent avalanche deaths in the U.S. both involved snowmobilers, Dec. 29 in Idaho and Jan. 8 near Kalispell, Montana.

Snow continued to fall in Summit County mid-morning Monday, but the National Weather Service was easing off its previous predictions of sustained heavy snowfall because of some warmer southwestern winds mixing into the storm. The Grand Junction-based forecasters also called for an earlier end to the snowfall than predicted, as a secondary impulse in the storm fizzled.

Early morning storm totals were about 2 inches at most resorts with the heavier snowfall just moving in. Front Range areas reported about 4 or 5 inches early Monday morning. A winter storm warning remains in effect for most of the Colorado Mountains.

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