Recent heavy snowfall over much of southern Colorado has significantly increased the avalanche danger across the Sangre de Cristo, and the northern and southern San Juan mountain ranges, and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued an avalanche warning for the southern ranges.

"Right now the snowpack is really quite touchy and potentially very reactive if you’re trying to get in some backcountry riding," said  Scott Toepfer, a Boulder-based avalanche and mountain weather forecaster.

In the warning area, natural avalanche activity is likely, large human-triggered avalanches are very likely, and backcountry travel of any kind isn’t recommended.

"We’re really not recommending back country travel. Let the storm kind of clear itself out of here, let the snowpack settle a little bit and gain a little bit of strength, Toepher said. Meanwhile, CAIC says the danger will remain high for the time being, and the possibility of more snow in the forecast means the potential for large avalanches could continue through the week.