Vail’s Back Bowls closed Wednesday, Thursday out of wet slide safety precaution |

Vail’s Back Bowls closed Wednesday, Thursday out of wet slide safety precaution

Danger of wet slides considerable

A wet slide on Milt's Face on Vail Mountain Wedensday. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said wet slide danger is considerable in the Vail area.
Courtesy image

If you heard large blasts going off on Vail Mountain in recent days, it wasn’t fireworks.

Avalanche conditions have been considerable in recent days, with numerous loose wet slides reported across the Gore Range in Eagle and Summit Counties.

A loose wet avalanche is defined by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center as a “release of wet unconsolidated snow or slush” which “typically occur within layers of wet snow near the surface of the snowpack, but may quickly gouge into lower snowpack layers.”

An avalanche forecast issued by the center on Wednesday said loose wet avalanches will be of widespread concern in the Vail area.

“Small loose wet avalanches can act as a trigger for the larger slabs,” according to the center’s Wednesday forecast report.

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Wet slides could be seen in the Back Bowls of Vail Mountain on Wednesday, including a large slide on the Milt’s Face run in Sun Up Bowl.

Vail Mountain spokesperson Rachel Levitsky said significant warming temperatures, spring conditions and wet slide concerns necessitated the closure of China Bowl, Tea Cup, Sun Up and Sun Down Bowls for Wednesday and Thursday.

“Our operations teams are continually assessing conditions across the mountain and terrain may open and close at any time based on conditions,” she said.

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