Increased Avalanche Risk in Colorado Spells Trouble for Backcountry Users

"It doesn’t matter what outdoor activity you enjoy this winter, whether you ski, snowshoe, ice fish, hike, bike or go snowmobiling, it’s important to respect and know trail and area closures before you go and adjust your activity to make sure you have a safe and fun outdoor experience." -Dan Prenzlow, CPW

Sneeringer, B. (2021, February 12). Avalanche risk in Colorado prompts warning from Governor Polis. OutThereColorado. Retrieved From

The Winter of 2020/21 has been one of the most deadly winters on record for backcountry users in Colorado. There has already been eight avalanche deaths in the state and we are only halfway through the winter. The last time Colorado saw a season this deadly was 2013 when eleven Coloradans succumbed to avalanche related deaths. These dangerous conditions and exceptionally weak snowpack are a result of a few factors including early snowfall, a dry fall, cold temperatures, and new storms adding to the heavy top slab. The conditions are also not improving as new storms continue to roll through the state, adding up to three feet of snow to most mountains by early next week. Now it is more important than ever to exercise extreme caution in the backcountry. It is crucially important to do some research before venturing out, know the terrain, ski low angle slopes, have understanding of travel in avalanche terrain, carry the proper safety equipment, and go with a friend!