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Skiing: Snowpack starts transition to spring conditions

Breckenridge Ski Patrol holds final avalanche talk of the season (March 15, Tenmile Room at the The Village at Breck) with a focus on spring avalanche risks and wet-snow slab instability

The 'Cirque' between Peak 6 and Peak 5...May 5, 2011. PHOTO BY MATT KRANE.

Public service avalanche presentation from the Breckenridge Ski Patrol.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The spring wet-snow avalanche season is starting early this year, thanks to a March warm-up, says Breckenridge ski patroller Matt Krane, warning that the recent spate of warm weather and winds may already be undermining the snowpack with meltwater percolating through the snowpack and lubricating already suspect layers.

A recent wet snow avalanche in Tenmile Canyon is a sure sign that some slopes are already subject to this type of release, and with low temperatures forecast to stay near the freezing mark even at mid-elevations, the problem could get worse before it gets better.

The same aspect one day later, May 6, 2011. Daytime temps in town were in the high 40s-low 50s. PHOTO BY MATT KRANE.

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