CAIC issues avalanche warning for Steamboat and Flat Tops areas |

CAIC issues avalanche warning for Steamboat and Flat Tops areas

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — On Friday morning, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center increased the avalanche outlook for Steamboat Springs and the Flat Tops to high and issued an avalanche warning. The warning runs through 7 a.m. Saturday. Conditions are expected to remain dangerous throughout the weekend.

“A foot or more of new snow and strong winds have combined to overload our fragile snowpack,” according to the CAIC’s website.

The current conditions are making large, wide and deadly avalanches very easy to trigger. Wind-drifted slopes, where slabs are thicker and more cohesive, will produce more massive and deadly avalanches.

Routt County Search and Rescue President Jay Bowman said Friday that backcountry explorers do not have to avoid the backcountry altogether, but should take extra safety precautions and check avalanche conditions before leaving.

“You may be on flat ground, but you may be below a dangerous zone,” Bowman said.

Bowman and the CAIC are urging people exploring the backcountry to stay off of and out from underneath slopes steeper than 30 degrees. Avalanches can break just below the new storm snow or deeper on buried weak layers, according to the CAIC.

Avalanche danger levels across Western Colorado indicated by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

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