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Video: IFMGA guide Ben Markhart using a low angle test slope to illustrate the touchy nature of the new, wind-drifted snow in the Vail / Summit backcountry zone before the most recent storm on March 8th.
Cracking and collapsing illustrate instability but so do recent avalanche involvements. At least five people were caught, buried, or partially buried in human-triggered avalanches yesterday in Colorado. Fortunately, the folks that ended up buried were saved by their ski partners.
The avalanche danger is Considerable (3 of 5) throughout most of Colorado. The snowpack is complex with buried persistent weak layer(s), crust(s), and recent snow; however, people are in avalanche terrain, triggering avalanches, and having to rely on companion rescue for survival. Remember this one sentence as we head into a busy, bluebird weekend: Human-triggering a deadly avalanche is likely.
Get the complete avalanche forecast at our website or via our free mobile app.