Posted inColoradans, News, Outdoors, Outsider

How a Breckenridge avalanche 35 years ago changed the trajectory of Colorado skiing

BRECKENRIDGE – It was sunny and cold on Feb. 18, 1987. Ski patroller Mary Logan remembers the snow squeaking beneath her skis as she rode the T-bar with patrol director Kevin Ahern.  They were watching two skiers atop Peak 7 in the Tenmile Range, just beyond the Breckenridge ski area boundary. They watched helplessly as […]

Posted inNews, Outdoors, Outsider

Following a historic Colorado avalanche season, pros and entrepreneurs create new tools for safer backcountry travel

Responding to one of the worst avalanche seasons on record, a growing number of backcountry skiers are developing tools to help fellow adventurers move more safely through the snowy mountains. The innovation feels especially urgent after last season, when 37 skiers, climbers and snowmobilers were killed in avalanches nationwide, including 12 in Colorado. The 2021-22 […]

Posted inNews, Outdoors, Outsider

Colorado’s 2020-21 avalanche season was tied for the deadliest. It’s helping forecasters hone warnings and outreach.

A once-in-a-decade layer of rotten snow in the mountains combined with unprecedented traffic in the backcountry made the 2020-21 avalanche season the deadliest in many years.  The 37 deaths across the country — each a tragedy that will resonate for lifetimes — delivered lessons to avalanche forecasters and researchers, especially in Colorado, where 12 men […]

Posted inClimate, News, Newsletters, Outdoors, Outsider

Satellites, airplanes and lasers are tracking Colorado avalanches

Avalanche forecasting has come a long way since the 1950s, when forecasters relied solely on weather to predict when and where snow might slide. But it still requires scientists skiing and digging into the snowpack. That’s changing as satellites, aircraft-mounted sensors and ground-based remote monitoring fast-track the evolution of snow science, giving experts comprehensive insight […]

Posted inNews, Newsletters, Outdoors, Outsider

Two decades of local avalanche forecasts in Crested Butte have proved their worth

CRESTED BUTTE — A few days after the ski hill closed in March, Than Acuff went for a backcountry tour up the popular Schuylkill Ridge. “It was mind-blowing. Shoot-the-lock-off zero backcountry protocol. Total bedlam,” the longtime local journalist and executive director of the Crested Butte Avalanche Center said. “We were breaking trail and there was […]