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December 22, 2021

Megan Castle,, 303-513-2713

Ethan Greene,, 303-204-6027

Avalanche Danger Will Rise Over the Holiday Weekend:
 Use Extra Caution In the Backcountry

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center is warning of increasing avalanche danger this holiday weekend and urging people headed to the mountains to pay special attention to the avalanche forecast.

DENVER - “New snow and the holiday weekend will provide a much needed outlet for all sorts of powderhounds, but we also expect HIGH (Level 4 of 5)  avalanche danger on Friday,” said Ethan Greene, Director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. “The first in a series of storms will increase the avalanche danger on Friday and Saturday. People headed into the mountains or backcountry for recreation should check the avalanche forecast before their trip at We recommend people avoid traveling on or under steep snow-covered slopes during periods of high avalanche danger. We want to make sure people get out, have some fun, but get home safe to spend time with their families.”
Why is this important? 

After a dry fall, the snowpack in Colorado is quite weak. Storms in December produced an uptick in avalanche activity. Avalanches are easy to trigger, and many are breaking wider than usual. Over the past two weeks backcountry travelers have triggered avalanches from low-angle slopes below, next to, and above steeper slopes. 

What can backcountry users do?

The most important thing you can do is check the avalanche forecast before going into the backcountry. Go to or get the Friends of CAIC’s mobile app. Look at the current avalanche conditions and plan backcountry travel accordingly. Make sure you and every member of your group carry an avalanche-rescue transceiver, a probe pole, and a shovel - and know how to use this equipment. If you’re unsure about the conditions, stay on slopes less than 30 degrees steep that are not connected to steeper terrain. 

About the CAIC

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) is a program within the Colorado Department of Natural Resources' Executive Director’s Office. The program is a partnership between the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Department of Transportation (CDOT), and the Friends of the CAIC (FoCAIC), a 501c3 group. The mission of the CAIC is to provide avalanche information, education and promote research for the protection of life, property, and the enhancement of the state’s economy. For current information on avalanche conditions and more information on the program, visit



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Colorado Department of Natural Resources · 1313 N Sherman St Ste 718 · Denver, CO 80203-2239 · USA

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