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Avalanche mitigation brings slide onto US 6 near Arapahoe Basin

Highway reopened around 11:45 a.m.
Posted at 11:33 AM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 13:44:00-05

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. – Avalanche mitigation work near Loveland Pass shut down U.S. Highway 6 near Arapahoe Basin Tuesday morning after a slide 6-8 feet deep was brought down onto the highway.

The highway was closed in both directions Tuesday morning near A-Basin following the avalanche but reopened around 11:45 a.m. The area received nearly 4 feet of snow over the past five days.

Alan Henceroth of Arapahoe Basin wrote in his blog that Colorado Department of Transportation crews performed avalanche mitigation on three avalanche-prone areas near the ski area and Loveland Pass: Widowmaker, The Professor and Grizzly Bowl.

CDOT crews used explosives tossed from a helicopter to bring a slide down on Widowmaker – a path that sits about a mile southwest of the ski area’s lower parking lot on the west side of U.S. 6 – that brought down 6-8 feet of snow across the highway.

CDOT and A-Basin crews were working to clear the highway to open the ski area Tuesday morning, and A-Basin officials said they expected the highway to open in “a couple hours” as of around 10:20 a.m. By 11:45 a.m., the highway had reopened.

According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, avalanche danger across most of Colorado was “moderate” on Monday, but was still “considerable” in the southern areas of the state.

According to the CAIC, there were 16 avalanches reported Monday and a total of 176 since snowstorms began in earnest in the high country last Thursday.