Multiple Avalanche Watches, Warnings issued across Colorado’s mountains

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Several Avalanche Warnings and Watches are in effect across the state as more snow and strong winds start to move into Colorado.

Four zones in Colorado are under an Avalanche Warning as new snow and winds continue to overload fragile snowpack, meaning “very dangerous avalanche conditions” exist, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. The chances of large, wide and deadly avalanches are high in the Vail and Summit County, Sawatch, Aspen, and Gunnison zones. These kinds of avalanches will likely happen naturally and will be easy to trigger.

Backcountry travelers should stay away from slopes steeper than 30 degrees, CAIC said.

These Avalanche Warnings are in place until Friday at 7 a.m.

Two of CAIC’s zones — the Front Range zone, and the Steamboat and Flat Tops zone — are under Avalanche Watch. A watch indicates that an Avalanche Warning will likely be issued within the following 24 hours. Both of these zones have “considerable” risk for avalanches on Thursday, which is upgraded to “high” on Friday.

Snow will pick up in these two areas Friday with strong northwest winds. This combination of wind and snowfall will test the weak snowpack, CAIC said. Some avalanches will run naturally, and others will be easily triggered by people, but all have the ability to be large and dangerous.

These Avalanche Watches are in place until Friday at 7 a.m.