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Mile wide backcountry avalanche in Pitkin County runs 3,000 feet

Posted at 12:23 PM, Mar 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-10 14:24:34-04


courtesy: CAIC

PITKIN COUNTY – According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), an avalanche that occurred Saturday in the backcountry of Pitkin County was a mile wide and ran 3,000 feet.

CAIC said the avalanche released naturally in the Highlands Ridge area and likely toppled thousands of trees on its way down. The report said all of the Five Fingers and a portion of the K-Chutes ran.

The slide damaged an unoccupied home near Conundrum Creek even though defensive structures had been put in place.

courtesy: CAIC

CAIC’s report said there were multiple points that met multiple feeder paths, causing the slide to grow to the massive size. The spotter who witnessed the avalanche said, “the K Chutes ran as big as I’ve seen them go, and that was just a small portion.”

The avalanche ran the full path of 3,000 feet plus, taking out hundreds if not thousands of trees, CAIC said.  The debris ran across the creek in the area and ran uphill several hundred vertical feet on the opposite side, even taking out trees on the uphill side across the creek.

courtesy: CAIC

The avalanche terrain is predominantly east-facing, with some slopes facing southeast and some facing northeast.

CAIC said there was also a very large natural avalanche on a northwest facing slope in Maroon Bowl.

You can find the latest avalanche information for the state at the CAIC website.