Colorado mountains remain on avalanche alert

DILLON, Colo. - Colorado's high country is still on alert for more avalanches.

Since the beginning of March, there have been more than 250 avalanches in the state.

"I have never seen anything like this before," Ben Butler, the Summit County Rescue Group Mission Coordinator, told FOX31. "The storm cycle has been unprecedented."

The Summit County Sheriff's Office volunteer team has about 65 members and trains once - sometimes twice - per week to keep people safe.

They've been put to the test the past few days.

"We haven’t seen the slide magnitude that we’ve seen in the last few days," Butler said. "It’s absolutely incredible."

The team has worked the huge snow slide on CO 91 that hit three vehicles and a big avalanche that mowed down a forest in Frisco on Peak One.

The first thing the team does when it responds, it makes sure the avalanche area is safe and stable for team members to enter.

"We're going to access whats’ going on...in terms of additional hazards.. in terms of who’s buried, where they’re buried," Butler said. "And we’re going to go make good decisions to make sure we’re not sending folks into dangerous situations."

The team has stayed safe all season and so have the handful of people who've been hit by the avalanches.

Butler hopes it stays that way, he doesn't think the avalanche danger will subside until there's a week or 10 days with little snowfall.

 

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