Snow continues to mount in Grand County |

Snow continues to mount in Grand County

Update 8:45 p.m.: Grand County Road & Bridge worked on CR-1 (Trough) for most of the day Friday. It is now open.

Update 5:40 p.m.: Some people may have received a CodeRED call, text or email. This is not an invitation to call 911, but an update about the winter weather asking people to stay off the roads, according to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities are asking people not to call 911 unless they have an emergency.

Update 5 p.m.: Avalanche warning has been extended through Sunday morning. The Office of Emergency Management has reported that Berthoud Pass does not appear to be closed any longer. However, blowing snow and the dark may make for hazardous driving conditions.

The agency also reported that US Highway 40 west of Hot Sulphur Springs eastbound at Byers Canyon is closed due to a snow slide.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is advising travelers wanting to leave or enter the mountains to stay where they are.

Update 2:40 p.m.: Rabbit Ears Pass and Berthoud Pass are closed. According to the Office of Emergency Management, crews are cleaning up a small avalanche on Berthoud Pass and it’s unknown how long the closure will last.

The agency advised skiers at Winter Park Resort that may be planning to travel down the pass this afternoon to wait at the resort for now.

Update 1:35 p.m.: A small avalanche on Berthoud Pass has multiple cars stuck, according to the Office of Emergency Management.

Highway 134 from US Highway 40 to Toponas, including Gore Pass, is now closed.

The biggest weather impacts for the rest of today will be on the east side of Grand County, according to the National Weather Service, from Fraser to Winter Park and Berthoud Pass. High winds will cause blowing snow. The west side of the county will also see blowing snow, but less of it.

The snow should start decreasing between 9 p.m. and midnight with a chance for sun tomorrow.

Update 12:20 p.m.: Trough Road, CR-1, remains closed westbound at Highway 9. According to the Grand County Office of Emergency Management, the road is impassable and will remained closed for a while.

Westbound I-70 is closed from mile marker 259, near Golden, to mile marker 215 at the Eisenhower Tunnel. The Colorado Department of Transportation said that road conditions continue to deteriorate and mountain travel is not advised. Alternate routes are not available because of extreme conditions throughout the area.

Update 11:25 a.m.: CDOT tweeted that I-70 westbound is closed from Morrison to the Eisenhower Tunnel. Alternate routes are not advised.

All Grand County offices will be closing at 1 p.m. according to the Office of Emergency Management.

Update 10:40 a.m.: County Road 1 (Trough Road)westbound from Highway 9 is closed due to multiple accidents and slide offs, according to a Facebook post from the Grand County Office of Emergency Management. The agency warns the eastbound side will be closing soon.

Grand County’s ski resorts are reporting almost a foot of new snow from a winter storm that has raised avalanche dangers and fouled up travel across the High Country.

At Winter Park Resort, the snow stick registered a depth over 14 inches by 9 this morning after the resort received 6 inches of new snow over night. The resort is reporting 11 inches in the last 24 hours. Down the road at Granby Ranch, there were 7 inches of new snow over the last 24 hours on top of a healthy dose of powder that came earlier this week.

The newest storm, which moved into the area on Thursday and is expected to continue through Saturday, also produced numerous wrecks in Grand County overnight and prompted the Colorado Department of Transportation to issue a travel warning for today.

That’s partly because The National Weather Service is projecting up to 2 feet of snow in areas such as Eisenhower Tunnel, Berthoud Pass, Vail Pass, Cameron and Rabbit Ears Passes with diminishing totals for southern mountain ranges. 

Additionally, CDOT is mandating extended closures on Interstate 70 and US Highway 40 this morning for avalanche control. More closures could be possible throughout the weekend.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has also raised the avalanche danger across the mountains to very dangerous with conditions worsening throughout the day.

“This storm is bringing a massive load, and avalanches triggered in the storm snow alone will be large enough to bury you,” the center warned. “Continued strong west to northwest winds will further complicate the problem. Wind-loaded slopes will form slabs many feet thick that can break wider and run further than you might expect.

“Under these unusual and threatening conditions, avalanches may run to the valley floor and travel through terrain that you have deemed safe. The only way to avoid being caught in an avalanche today is to stay well clear of all avalanche terrain and give runout zones a wide berth.”

Editor’s note: This developing story will be updated throughout the day.

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