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With much of the inter-mountain West being dry in regards to precipitation for the first part of this winter, snow instabilities have formed. The snowpack is weak in a lot of places—and dangerous. Especially in Colorado.
- Related: The SnowBrains Podcast – Episode #4 – What’s The #1 Tool Available To Skiers & Riders in Avalanche Terrain?
According to the Friends of the CAIC—a social media page associated with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center—there has been 74 human-triggered avalanches throughout Colorado in the last six days. Friends of the CAIC wrote in a social media post:
“Since Dec. 10, there have been 74 human-triggered avalanches. In many parts of the state, a slab sits over a very weak snowpack. These avalanche issues will not be going away anytime soon. Expect to be choosing your terrain carefully for a while.”
The snowpack is dangerous and unpredictable in Colorado right now, and with backcountry use surging in popularity this winter due to the pandemic, it’s a frightening picture. Weak snow + storms coming + a lot of backcountry users could equal disaster.
Although Utah has seen less human-triggered avalanches this winter than Colorado so far, its snowpack looks similar—weak and scary. Check out the video posted by a Utah Avalanche Center forecaster below from Dec. 2, which shows instabilities in the Wasatch snowpack.