19 people caught in avalanches in the last week in Colorado

DENVER (KDVR) — Mountain travelers are warned about Colorado avalanche conditions after 19 people in a week were caught in slides, and avalanche danger will continue into the weekend.

Eight of those people were caught in seven avalanches between Wednesday and Thursday alone, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said. For the weekend ahead, avalanche danger across the state is forecast as “considerable” after fresh spring snow.

“The increased avalanche danger means there is an even greater chance of triggering an avalanche and it could be bigger than previous days,” director Ethan Greene said in a release from the avalanche center.

Of the recent avalanches, three people were partially buried and one person was fully buried, but Greene said no one was seriously injured in these instances. Of the more than 5,000 avalanches recorded this season, two people have been killed and 102 people have been caught.

“Many of the recent incidents were in steep, consequential terrain. It might be late March and officially spring, but we still have winter avalanche conditions,” Greene said.

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Mountain adventurers are strongly urged to get training on avalanche safety and be prepared with the necessary safety material, like an avalanche transceiver, a probe pole and a shovel. More importantly, Greene said mountaineers must check the avalanche forecast before their trip.

“People should be making travel plans based on the current snowpack — not the calendar,” Greene said. “We need everyone headed into the backcountry to check the avalanche forecast and make sure your plan for the day fits the current avalanche conditions.”

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