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Backcountry avalanche warning in Colorado

Avalanche danger is high across much of the Colorado high country.

Natural and triggered slides likely in the mountains

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Most mountain backcountry areas in Colorado are under an avalanche warning Sunday after more than 12 inches of new snow brought a sketchy early season snowpack to the tipping point.

Forecasters with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center say that a widespread cycle of natural and triggered avalanches is likely. Backcountry travelers will easily trigger slides on most aspects and elevations and avalanches will also be easily triggered from a distance of 100 feet or more.

The avalanche danger is in the red zone, rated as high, in all mountain areas but the Sawatch and south San Juans, where it’s rated as considerable.

From the Summit County warning:

“The largest avalanches will occur on slopes facing north through east to southeast near and above treeline. Widespread but smaller avalanches are likely on all other slopes.”

The CAIC has listed reports of 15 avalanches since Jan. 19, including two in the Loveland Pass area and several more from East Vail to the Shrine Pass area. More info at the CAIC website.

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