Update: Berthoud Pass open
January 5, 2017
Very dangerous avalanche conditions exist along the Front Range according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC). Large, natural avalanches are already occurring. Berthoud Pass is now open after an extended closure for avalanche mitigation.
An avalanche warning is in effect for the Steamboat & Flat Tops, Front Range, Vail & Summit County, Northern San Juan, and Southern San Juan zones. Expect increasing avalanche danger throughout the day as more snow falls. Travel in and below avalanche terrain is not recommended during the warning period, according to CAIC.
According to CAIC's summary, "Dangerous avalanche conditions exist in the backcountry today. A powerful winter storm continues to pummel the Front Range zone, with snow accumulations of one to two feet over the last 24 hours. Strong west to southwest winds drifted much of the new snow onto slopes that face north to northeast to southeast. A second wave of snow and strong winds arrive Thursday morning. This second wave will only compound the dangerous avalanche conditions across the Front Range zone. Large, destructive avalanches will release naturally over the next 24 hours, and human-triggered avalanches are very likely. Backcountry travel in avalanche terrain is NOT recommended today."
This story will be updated as information becomes available.