Skiers beware: Avalanche warning issued Friday for areas across Colorado


The risk for avalanches in the backcountry is high, authorities said Friday, as the latest storm dumped heavy snowfall and brought gusty winds across most of Colorado.

An avalanche warning is in effect through 8 a.m. Saturday morning for areas in, under or near backcountry avalanche terrain along several parts of the state, including the Front Range, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center reported.

“Expect widespread natural avalanche activity to continue today with most avalanches large enough to bury or kill a person,” the Colorado Avalanche Information Center reported.

As snow continued to fall Friday morning, westbound lanes of Interstate 70 were closed at Cooper Mountain, near Vail Pass, and Herman Gulch, three miles east of the Eisenhower Tunnel for avalanche mitigation, the Colorado Department of Transportation said.

Whiteout conditions prompted several other closures.

As of 9 a.m., eastbound lanes of I-70 were closed at Vail (mile marker 176), East Vail (mile marker 180) and Silverthorne (exit 205) for dangerous road conditions, according to Colorado Department of Transportation.

There are no estimates as to when the roads will reopen.