There Have Been 11 Human-Triggered Avalanches in Colorado in the Last Week

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The crown of the April 7 Independence Pass avalanche. Photo by CAIC.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) posted this morning that in the last week alone there have been eleven human-triggered avalanches in the Colorado backcountry.

Since April 8, 2020, there has been 11 confirmed human triggered avalanches. A winter snowpack still exists in many areas throughout Colorado. With more snow and wind on the way, it’s important to understand that we are still dealing with winter-like avalanche problems.

If you live in the mountains and are choosing to head into the backcountry during this time, a critical thing to remember is that your actions may impact others. It is your job to balance your risk in the backcountry while considering the consequences should you trigger an avalanche. Are you exposing others to risk without their consent? If you or someone in your group gets hurt or worse, what burden does this place on our already strained health care systems? If you are able to access the backcountry, please do so safely and keep our communities and fellow backcountry tribe members in mind when you consider your terrain choices.

There are times to go big in the mountains and there are times when we take a step back. Now is a time to take a step back.

7-day forecast in Aspen. Credit: NOAA

A winter weather advisory, a winter storm warning, and hazardous weather outlook are all in effect for areas of Colorado right now. With current forecasts predicting the potential for 20″ of fresh snow to fall, avalanche danger is currently rated ‘considerable’ and over the next few days is sure to increase.

Always check the CAIC forecast before heading out.

Considerable avalanche danger in Colorado right now. Credit: CAIC

The 2019/20 ski season has seen 29 North American avalanche deaths. 21 in the USA and 8 in CanadaMany forecasting agencies have ceased forecasting due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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