Recent snows along with high winds have raised the avalanche danger in the high country to “considerable” in many areas according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. This was highlighted yesterday when a 27 year old man was killed just outside of Vail in an area known as the East Vail Chutes. This is the second avalanche death of the season, the first being on December 2nd in Larimer County. In the most recent case, these skiers had done everything right including having avalanche beacons but that was not enough.
Everyone who intends to ski or hike in the high country, particularly outside of established areas, needs to be aware of the danger avalanches pose. Recent weather has made the conditions ripe for these events. The Forest Service National Avalanche Center points out that nearly all avalanches that involve people are triggered by the victims themselves or a member of their party. The good news about that is that means that education can help to reduce the number of accidents we see each year. To learn more, please see: