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Photos & Videos
A group of 4 backcountry tourers were involved in an avalanche near Last Dollar Pass, southwest of Telluride. Rider 1 was completely buried, but uninjured. Skier 1 was partially buried and injured. The avalanche occurred on on a north-facing, convex slope near treeline. The avalanche propagated approximately 300 feet across the slope. The crown of the avalanche ranged from 3 to 8 feet deep. It was a very large hard slab avalanche, medium size relative to the path, large enough to kill a person and break trees or destroy a wood-framed house. It broke at the ground (HS-ASu-R3-D3-G).
Two skiers unintentionally triggered and were carried in an avalanche in the area locally known as Birthday Bowl in the Slate River valley The avalanche was a soft slab avalanche and occurred on a northeast aspect near treeline. It was small relative to the path, but large enough to bury, injure, or kill a person. It ran within the old snow (SS-ASu-R2-D2-O). You can get more details here.
Very Large and Dangerous Avalanche Pattern
Portions of the Vail-Summit and Front Range zones have developed a Deep Persistent Slab avalanche problem. This means you can trigger very large and unsurvivable avalanches even though there are few signs of instability. Specific terrain features need to be avoided to stay safe. This situation will be with us for a while. This video summarizes the current situation.