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January 18, 2012
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Avalanche danger 'considerable'

VAIL - The Colorado Avalanche Information Center is reporting "considerable" avalanche danger for Vail and Summit County after the Martin Luther King Day storm that dumped 10 inches at Vail and 9 inches at Beaver Creek.

Westerly winds have drifted the new snow into sensitive wind slabs on the north through east to south aspects near and above treeline, the center reports.

Snow riders can trigger wind slabs large enough to bury them on wind-loaded slopes over 30 degrees, and storm slabs can be triggered on wind-sheltered slopes steeper than 35 degrees below treeline where new snow is perched on top of very weak snow.

The center is also reporting that natural avalanches are also possible, and low-angle terrain avalanches near steep slopes can also be triggered.

"With more snow and wind in the forecast, expect avalanche danger to remain elevated this week," wrote John Snook in Wednesday's morning avalanche forecast.

Visit avalanche.state.co.us to check daily avalanche reports for around the state.


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The VailDaily Updated Jan 19, 2012 12:39PM Published Jan 18, 2012 06:52PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.