54 Individuals Have Already Been Caught In Avalanches In Colorado This Season

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Colorado avalanche. Image: CAIC

According to CAIC, 54 people have already been caught in avalanches in Colorado this season. Of those 54, 19 people were partially buried, 4 were completely buried, and 2 of those incidents resulted in fatalities. In a typical season, CAIC gets reports of 63 people caught in avalanches and 6 people die in avalanche accidents.

Where most avalanches occur on the Avalanche Danger Scale. Image: CAIC

By The Numbers:

  • Individuals Caught In Avalanches: 54
  • Individuals Partially Buried: 19
  • Individuals Completely Buried: 4
  • Fatalities: 2
Colorado avalanche. Image: CAIC

Colorado has already seen nearly 86% of the individuals caught in avalanches this season that they see in a typical season. That should be a key indicator to you that snowpack conditions are dangerous in Colorado this season. If you’re out skiing or riding, make sure to take the necessary precautions no matter where you are.

Press Release:

So far this season, CAIC has recorded 54 people caught in avalanches. 19 people were partially buried (3 of whom had their heads beneath the snow) and 4 were completely buried. Tragically, 2 of these accidents resulted in fatalities. Given the numbers, it’s easy to see that we have had a lot of close calls and near misses. On average in a single season, CAIC gets reports of 63 people caught in avalanches and 6 people die in avalanche accidents.

The numbers above are just the incidents we know about, and we’re only half way through the season. Bottom line: we have dangerous snowpack conditions this year, and even if we inch across the line to Moderate danger, conditions will not be safe for the foreseeable future. Most avalanche accidents happen when the avalanche danger is rated MODERATE or CONSIDERABLE.

There were a lot of close calls over the last two months, but also some very good saves. Avalanche safety is a community effort and we all work together. Every day, the CAIC provides robust avalanche forecasts and discussions for 10 zones throughout Colorado. That is the one part of the forecasters’ role in the backcountry community. Our role, as backcountry users, is to read the forecasts and use the information to our advantage, help the forecasters by submitting observations, engage with our partners about avalanche safety as a group before, during, and after each adventure, and by donating to support avalanche safety as a whole in Colorado. Let’s keep doing our part and continue pushing the community forward.

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