This is what October powder skiing on Loveland Pass looks like |

This is what October powder skiing on Loveland Pass looks like

Hugh Carey | Summit Daily News

On Oct. 3, eager skiers and snowboarders trekked out to Loveland Pass in Summit County for some early season powder turns. Nearby ski area Arapahoe Basin had received 19 inches of snow in two days as of Oct. 2. The conditions were cold enough for light snow and deep enough to avoid hitting the ground — if you could find the right route.

Minimal early season snowpack doesn’t eliminate avalanche danger, however. In fact, there already have been reported slides in Colorado. Here’s the Oct. 5 report from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center:

“The first serious snowfall of the year favored the Sawatch Range, Flat Tops, Park Range, and the Front Range from the Loveland Pass area north. About two feet of snow accumulated in the deepest areas. Less snow added up in the Central or Southern Mountains. Winds were drifting snow over all mountain areas.

“Observers reported the first avalanches of the season with the storm. We have recorded five natural avalanches on northwest, north, and northeast aspects above tree line. The avalanches all broke several feet deep, to the ground in some spots. The largest of the avalanches ‘Left sizable debris for early October.’

“The weather looks dry and sunny through the weekend. It will be a nice time to be in the mountains, but you will need to consider avalanches on steep, snow-covered slopes. Nearly every fall, avalanches catch eager riders and late-season hikers off-guard.  Hunters traveling through the high country need to exercise caution on steep, snow covered terrain. Please be thinking avalanche if you visit steep slopes in the high country. Below we describe some considerations for early-season fall avalanche concerns.

“We will update the Statewide Avalanche Conditions as necessary. On November 1, 2017, we will resume our daily weather forecasts. Our backcountry avalanche forecasts will begin in mid-November.

“If you are going into the Colorado high country use our Weather Stations by Zone page to check current conditions.”

Aspen resident Andrew Benaquista skis in a open field of fresh snow at Loveland Pass Tuesday, Oct. 3.

Bluebird day on Loveland Pass

Skiers Dave Holten, left, and Andrew Benaquista look back at their ski routes at Loveland Pass Tuesday, Oct. 3.

A snowboarder goes airborne off a jump Tuesday, Oct. 3, at Loveland Pass.

A trio of skiers makes their way up Loveland Pass.

Turns carved in snow

Lines created by skiers and snowboarders on Loveland Pass.

Dave Holten makes a ski turn in fresh snow at Loveland Pass Tuesday, Oct. 3.

Aspen residents Dave Holten, front, and Andrew Benaquista skin their way up at Loveland Pass.

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