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 inColoradans, Environment, News, Outdoors

Avalanche danger remains high in the West, 32 deaths confirmed this season

By Pat Graham, The Associated Press Snowboarder Maurice Kervin glided into the snow along the steep terrain in the Colorado backcountry like he’s done so many times. There was no warning for what happened next as he glanced over his shoulder: a rush of snow swiftly heading his way. Caught in an avalanche last month, […]

Posted inColoradans, Crime and Courts, News, Outdoors

Colorado’s first-ever criminal charges following an avalanche could be slippery slope for backcountry travelers

The two snowboarders talk about snow conditions and route selection as they drop in, one at a time. Gusting wind is blowing snow across the ridge as they wind between reefy rocks. “Avalanche!” yells Tyler DeWitt as he cranks to a stop below his friend Evan Hannibal.  The two watch the slide — captured on […]

Posted inEnvironment, News, Outdoors

Colorado’s avalanche season claimed 8 lives. Experts say there’s much to learn from how they died.

Renowned avalanche researcher Dale Atkins wanted to see the carnage first-hand. He skied up Stevens Gulch Road below Grays and Torreys after the early March avalanches, crossing massive debris piles laced with splintered trees. As he climbed toward treeline below Kelso Mountain, the white snow turned dusty red. “Like we would see from a dust […]

Posted inEnvironment, News, Outdoors, Transportation

Colorado’s weekend snowstorm prompted avalanches in areas that hadn’t slid in decades. Here’s why.

Dramatic dashboard recordings over the weekend of avalanches along Interstate 70 between Frisco and Copper Mountain have stoked anxiety among Coloradans about the safety of the state’s high country roadways sitting beneath avalanche chutes. But experts say the slides are the result of historic conditions that have been lining up for the entire snow season, […]

Posted inBusiness, Culture, News, Outdoors

What really led A-Basin to quit the Epic Pass cash cow? “Parking is our pinch point.”

The deluge of weekend Epic Pass skiers has forced Arapahoe Basin to abandon its decade-long partnership with Vail Resorts. “We are pretty darn full on weekends and we don’t need any more people on weekends. If anything, we could probably whittle those numbers down a little bit,” Arapahoe Basin’s longtime leader Alan Henceroth said Monday, […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: Loveland Pass is a much-safer — and only minutes-slower — option than risking a catastrophe in tunnel

In response to:  “Hazmat drivers want off Loveland Pass.” As a 40-year truck driver who retired two years ago, I spent 30 years as a hazmat-tanker driver, hauling cryogenic liquids and chemicals, with 25 of those years hauling gasoline. I ran all Colorado mountain passes in all weather conditions. All of Colorado’s mountain passes are […]

Posted inNews, Politics and Government, Transportation

Hazmat tankers want off “sketchy” Loveland Pass and into tunnels. Years of debate could be decided once and for all.

In a snowstorm, it can be an unsettling site: a tractor-trailer pulling a massive tanker filled with hazardous materials up the switchbacks on Loveland Pass. Impatient ski traffic weaves around the vehicle while, on both sides of slick, two-lane U.S. 6, there are steep drop-offs that mostly lack guardrails. That’s not to mention the crowded […]