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Experts warn of high avalanche danger

4:33 PM, Feb 2, 2014   |    comments
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KUSA - Conditions have worsened since the big snow storm that moved through Thursday night. We've learned, since then, more than 40 avalanches have been reported along the Front Range. The number continues to rise.

Avalanche forecasters say the danger is widespread from Wolf Creek pass to Aspen and from the New Mexico border and up to Wyoming.

The snowpack is so weak that avalanches are being triggered from a distance.

"Our snowpack is at a really precarious balance right now. It really looks like our avalanche danger is going to be deadly, dangerous and increasing over the next 5 to 7 days," Scott Toepfer with the Avalanche Information Center said.

Toepher says the most dangerous areas are on or below steep back country slopes. But he says there's really no way to tell when and where the next slide will be.

"After a storm cycle like we just had, we need to reel it in a little bit. We need to let this new snow settle out and gain a little bit of new strength so we can get out there and push our limits a little bit," Toepfer said.

But right now is not the time. Risk takers are being strongly advised to take their talents and adventure to a safer place, like a ski resort.

Forecasters say the conditions we're seeing make rescue efforts even more difficult. Anyone who is considering heading to the back country should always check the avalanche forecast and be prepared for the worst case scenario.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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