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Large, Dangerous Avalanche Pattern Developing - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Large, Dangerous Avalanche Pattern Developing

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Officials from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) say a very large and dangerous avalanche pattern has developed through portion of the Colorado Rockies. This means you could inadvertently trigger large, dangerous and unsurvivable avalanches with little warning signs.

According to the CAIC, this reasoning for our now increased avalanche danger has to do with the first few months of a VERY dry winter. This created a thin, weak snow pack. Now that Winter seems to have finally caught up with Colorado, recent, repetitive and heavy snows have stacked up on this already thin and weak base layer of snow pack. 

(Recent Avalanche Courtesy of Colorado Avalanche Information Center)

Now, with this heavy snow stacked on the existing thin, weak snow, we're starting to see large avalanches break hundreds of feet wide and all the way to the ground. This is known as a Deep Persistent Slab Avalanche. These are incredibly dangerous as they involve a large amount of snow as well as ground debris that is drug along as the avalanche falls.

(Recent Avalanche Courtesy of Colorado Avalanche Information Center)

New snowfall today through Friday could trigger more avalanches through the Front Range, Summit and Vail zones. In the last 7 days there have been two avalanches triggered by a skier and a snowboarder. While both were carried by their avalanche, luckily both people survived, but the snowboarded did need medical attention.

(Recent Avalanche Courtesy of Colorado Avalanche Information Center)

The last winter with a large number of deep persistent slab avalanches was 2013 through 2014. That winter involved numerous large avalanches through the region as well as 8 fatalities from avalanches in Colorado that season. Experts say the safest thing to do is simply stay away from elevated slopes in the zones marked with Avalanche Watches and use extra care with any zone in a moderate risk or higher.

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