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Avalanche danger around Front Range zone remains considerable after snowstorm

Front Range avalanche reported Jan 5 2022
Posted at 7:30 AM, Jan 07, 2022

Avalanche danger remains a concern around Colorado Friday and this weekend, with the highest danger in the Vail and Summit County zone and the Front Range zone, which runs from the Wyoming border south through Loveland Pass and into the Pikes Peak area.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said danger is considerable below, at, and above treeline in these regions. The risk decreases to "moderate" on Saturday.

The recent snowfall loaded steep slopes to their breaking point along the Front Range, CAIC reported. Many natural avalanches will likely break, and some may break in older layers and sweep away the entire snowpack.

CAIC says these avalanches can be triggered from far away, so it does not recommend traveling in or below any backcountry avalanche terrain in the Front Range region.

This zone includes:

  • Rawah Wilderness
  • Never Summer Mountains/Willow Creek Pass
  • Cameron Pass
  • Medicine Bow Mountains
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Grand Lake
  • Indian Peaks Wilderness
  • Rollins Pass
  • Winter Park
  • Berthoud Pass
  • Jones Pass
  • Greys and Torreys
  • Guanella Pass
  • Loveland Pass-Northside
  • Mount Evans
  • Pikes Peak

Regarding the Vail and Summit County region, CAIC said to avoid "rock outcroppings, convex rollovers, and shallow spots near ridgelines and at the bottom of slopes." Backcountry travelers should avoid spending time under snow-loaded rooflines, especially with Friday's warmer temperatures.

This zone includes Vail and Highway 24 east to Loveland Pass, including the Gore Range and Hoosier Pass. This area covers the following locations:

  • Loveland Pass-Southside
  • Gore Range/Williams Fork Mountains
  • 10-mile Range
  • Hoosier Pass
  • Vail Pass
  • Vail Chutes
  • Fremont Pass
  • Boreas Pass
  • Sawatch and Mosquito Ranges
  • Mosquito Range
  • Sawatch Range
  • Mt. Massive Wilderness
  • Independence Pass-Eastside
  • Cottonwood Pass
  • Collegiate Peaks Wilderness
  • Monarch Pass
  • Tincup Pass
  • Poncha Pass

The rest of Colorado's Rocky Mountains are under moderate threats Friday.