Low avalanche danger could quickly change in Steamboat Springs area | SteamboatToday.com

Low avalanche danger could quickly change in Steamboat Springs area

Matt Stensland
The Detroit Red Wings' Johan Franzen celebrates the third goal of the first period against the Colorado Avalanche. The Red Wings defeated the Avalanche

— After a period of high avalanche danger, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center has downgraded the local avalanche danger to low.

CAIC warned that it is still possible to trigger an avalanche that can hurt someone.

“In extreme terrain there is always an avalanche risk, and even small avalanches carry severe consequences,” CAIC stated on its website. “Issues to be aware of today are small loose dry avalanches and small loose wet avalanches. Neither of these problems are significant unless you put yourself in a situation where getting taken of your feet or sled is not an option.”

Routt County has already had two accidents involving avalanches.

A snowmobile triggered an avalanche on Rabbit Ears Pass on Dec. 11. Three riders were buried, but everyone had avalanche safety equipment and survived.

On Jan. 12, an avalanche in the Fish Creek drainage injured a Routt County Search and Rescue member who was on his way to rescue two lost skiers.

With snow in the forecast, avalanche conditions could quickly change.

“It will not take a lot of new snow to result in an increase in avalanche activity as our snow surface is weak and sugary and new snow will not bond well,” CAIC stated.

Three storms are expected to impact the region through Wednesday. Joel Gratz, who runs opensnow.com, said the storm cycle will mostly favor the southern mountains but 12 to 24 inches could fall at Steamboat Ski Area.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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