Officials in Colorado are warning of the increased risk of avalanches after 132 were reported between between December 18 and December 20, resulting in three deaths.
According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), the “weakest snowpack since 2012” in Colorado’s mountain ranges presented a considerable risk for avalanches.
Coloradans were warned that natural avalanches were possible, and human-triggered avalanches likely; they would generally be small, the CAIC said, but some could be large.
The San Juan County Office of Emergency Management confirmed that two backcountry skiers were caught in an avalanche in the San Juan Mountains near Silverton on December 19. Their bodies were recovered on Sunday.
This footage shows a small avalanche in Silverton on December 19, captured by Wieke de Boer. She said the snow was “rumbling” as it came down the mountain.
Another skier died December 18 after he was caught in an avalanche near Crested Butte. Credit: @wieke_runs via Storyful