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Colorado: Backcountry avalanche watch issued

Snow Thursday night could set off another natural avalanche cycle

Parts of the Colorado mountains are under an avalanche watch. Click for more info.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A round of forecast snow — perhaps 4 to 10 inches Thursday night — could unleash another cycle of dangerous, naturally running backcountry avalanches, Colorado snow safety experts said, issuing an avalanche watch that covers the Front Range and mountains to the west from Fairplay up to Steamboat Springs.

Four people have died in avalanches this season, including two at ski areas. Get the latest backcountry update at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center website.

An avalanche watch means that, if the weather forecast is accurate, the avalanche danger will rise to high in the watch area, with both natural and triggered slides likely. The watch is in effect through 11 a.m. Friday. A high danger rating means very dangerous backcountry avalanche conditions, and travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended. Specifically, the warning covers the Park Elkhead, Flattop, Front, Gore and Tenmile ranges. Continue reading

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Ascent Series brings uphill racing to Breckenridge

Uphill racing and randonnée racing is surging in the U.S. An uphill race series will start in Breckenridge this month, with the big Five Peaks contest scheduled for early April. PHOTO COURTESY U.S. SKI MOUNTAINEERING ASSOCIATION. Click on the image to learn more about the organization.

Three races planned from Peak 8 base to Vista House, followed by Five Peaks contest coming on April 10

SUMMIT COUNTY — Uphill racing is coming to Breckenridge with the spring Ascent Series featuring three races from the base of Peak 8 to the Vista Haus.

The races, presented by Breckenridge Ski Resort and the Town of Breckenridge Recreation Department, begin March 24 with a climb up Springmeier.

Competitors are invited to use any kind of equipment to get up the mountain, but skis or snowboards are required on the descent. All events take place on Wednesdays, beginning at 5:30 p.m.  The second race is March 31 up Claimjumper, with the final contest in the series set for April 7 for an evening ascent up Dukes.

Registration for the series will take place at the Breckenridge Recreation Center, at Mountain Outfitters and online at http://www.breckenridgerecreation.com. Pre-registration is available until 9pm the day before the race for $15. Race-day registration is $20 and will be held on Peak 8 in the Smokehouse, in the basement of the Bergenhof, beginning at 4:30pm. Participants ages 18 and younger race for free, but must have a parent sign the release. Full series registration is available for only $40 prior to the first race of the series. For more information about this event visit us online or call (970) 547-4321.

The races could be good training for the April 10 Five Peaks race, which will cover about 10,000 vertical feet with climbs and descents across Peaks 10, 9, 8 and 7. Get more information here.

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