Avalanche Danger High Along I-70; Skier Found Dead After Snow Slide
The avalanche danger in Colorado's northern and central mountains was high Monday a day after a snow slide tumbled down a mountain and spilled across an interstate.
The avalanche happened Sunday on I-70, a highway that connects the Denver area to ski resorts, between Frisco and Copper Mountain. No injuries were reported.
Video captured by Jacob Easton shows a cloud of snow coming down the mountain on the opposite side of the highway before sliding across both sides of the interstate. It shows snow covering a pickup ahead of his vehicle before the snow sweeps down to his vehicle, completely covering the windshield. His vehicle was not trapped.
According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, up to 3 to 4 feet of snow fell in some parts of the region where the avalanche happened. While the slide danger caused by all the new snow likely peaked on Sunday, it said the danger was still high — just below the top rating of extreme — in the Front Range, Vail and Summit County, Aspen, Grand Mesa, Gunnison and Sawatch regions.
Avalanches on well-traveled roads in Colorado are rare. When the slide danger is high, roads are often closed so crews can trigger avalanches at places prone to slides.
Three mountain pass roads in southwestern Colorado — Wolf Creek, Red Mountain and Lizard Head — were temporarily closed Monday morning so crews could do such work.
Authorities also say a missing backcountry skier apparently died in a massive avalanche in southwestern Colorado.
The San Miguel Sheriff's Office says crews working with avalanche dogs found the local man's body Monday in a slide believed to have occurred the day before near Telluride.
Because the risk of avalanches is high, sheriff's office spokeswoman Susan Lilly says crews had to wait for helicopters to drop explosives to trigger slides before ground crews could safely go in to search for the man.
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