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With the transition to summer activities well underway, avalanches might not be your first concern but should not be overlooked.
Reports over the last few days remind us that wet avalanches are possible on and below steep slopes that hold snow in alpine areas. These are increasingly accessible by foot as the snow melts.
Consider the consequences anytime you cross on or under steep, snow-covered slopes. Be aware of hazards above you, like sagging cornices and exposed areas of meltwater running under the snow. Wet avalanches may start small but can quickly entrain a potent mix of slushy snow, mud, and rocks.
Timing your travel in avalanche terrain is essential. Some slopes may not refreeze again this season, meaning your window for safe travel may be non-existent.
The slope in this video was descended by glissading hikers shortly before it avalanched.
The video is from June 6, 2021, Missouri Mountain in the Sawatch Range, and courtesy of Instagram user @_mjordan.