‘Natural avalanches are going to start coming down everywhere,’ says rescue group | VailDaily.com

‘Natural avalanches are going to start coming down everywhere,’ says rescue group

Sawyer D' Argonne
Summit Daily News
Steve Bainbridge | Taken from the WaterDance neighborhood in Frisco, this photo shows a massive avalanche below Peak 1.

A massive avalanche tore open a new path near Peak 1 in Frisco this morning, adding to concerns about slide danger after another avalanche hit a gas pipeline near Copper Mountain earlier today. Summit Rescue Group Spokesman Charles Pitman said they believe the slide hit near Mt. Victoria, near the J Chute, and stopped somewhere above Rainbow Lake.

The rescue group doesn’t believe anyone was caught in the slide, and there won’t be any search and rescue response. There are no additional road closures as a result of the avalanche.

“It’s going to continue to be ugly out there,” said Pitman. “We’re hoping that people don’t go to the backcountry today.”

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has declared “historic” avalanche conditions, raising avalanche danger levels to “Extreme” (5 out of 5) for four different backcountry zones for the first time since it started using the ten zone forecasting system. The CAIC has warned everyone to stay out of avalanche terrain, as every single inch of it is now considered hazardous. Avalanche Warnings are in place for the Front Range, Steamboat and Flat Tops, Vail and Summit County, Sawatch, Aspen, Gunnison, Grand Mesa, and San Juan Mountains.

“CAIC is saying extreme avalanche conditions,” continued Pitman. “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that before. Natural avalanches are going to start coming down everywhere.”


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