‹‹ Colorado Postcards


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Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Alex Blanchard uses his avalanche transceiver at the U.S. Forest Service’s avalanche beacon training site near Minturn on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023.

Colorado gets thousands of avalanches a year. The Ute knew to avoid avalanche-prone areas, but many miners and settlers did not. The gold rush years were the deadliest avalanche period in state history. As skiing became popular, some skiers ignored warnings to stay away from unpatrolled backcountry areas.

Then in 1987, a slide in Breckenridge hammered the need for avalanche safety. A massive slab of snow broke loose, stormed down the entire face of Peak 7 and swept away eight skiers. Four survived, thanks to one of the largest search and rescue missions in state history.

Avalanche awareness is better now. Many skiers carry avalanche beacons, probes and shovels, and practice rescue skills at training parks, like one near Minturn that’s free & open to the public.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.