Widowmaker avalanche buries Colorado highway 6-8′ feet deep forcing A-basin to delay its opening

Martin Kuprianowicz | | AvalancheAvalancheIndustry NewsIndustry News
The Widowmaker slide path avalanched on Tuesday morning, Feb. 11 delaying Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s opening. Photo: Arapahoe Basin

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, CO was forced to delay its opening on Tuesday morning, Feb. 11, due to an avalanche that buried a section of US Highway 6-8 FEET deep approximately one mile west of the ski area. The Widowmaker slide path avalanched on Tuesday morning forcing a road closure and delayed opening for A-basin. Thankfully, no one was caught and injured in the slide.

Arapahoe Basin CEO Al Henceroth addressed the avalanche forcing the road closure and subsequent delayed opening of the ski area in a blog post Tuesday morning:

This morning CDOT was conducting avalanche mitigation work on the Widowmaker. Using a helicopter, CDOT deployed an explosive on the path creating an avalanche that deposited 6-8 feet of snow on US Highway 6 approximately one mile west of Arapahoe Basin. The highway is closed at this time. Crews from both CDOT and Arapahoe Basin are working to clear the highway. Exact time for the highway to re-open is unclear, but I estimate we are looking at a couple hours. I will keep posted as more information becomes available.

A-basin eventually reopened at about 11:30 a.m. with the help of CDOT and A-Basin front loaders, the Summit Daily reports. It should be noted that A-basin has received more than 46 inches since one of the season’s biggest storms hit last Friday, Feb. 7, dramatically raising the avalanche danger leading up to the recent Widowmaker avalanche.


Photo: Arapahoe Basin


Photo: Arapahoe Basin

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