Heavy snowfall plus strong winds are creating the perfect conditions for avalanches in the San Juan Mountains Friday.
An avalanche warning is in effect for this area until Saturday at 6 a.m., according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).
On its website, CAIC said these natural avalanches would be big enough to bury a person, so “today is a great day to go bowling or finish a home improvement project.”
The new snow is adding extra weight to already-weak snowpack, which is expected to give in, particularly on slopes facing north to east. CAIC does not recommend traveling through this terrain Friday or early Saturday.
In addition, there is a considerable avalanche risk in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on Friday as a foot of snow falls in the area. The risk is expected to dip down to moderate danger by Saturday.
The Front Range is under a moderate risk Friday and Saturday.
CAIC said a skier was fully buried on Thursday by an avalanche near Searle Pass in Summit County and the type of slope that slid was exactly what could happen on the Front Range. The skier was rescued by his or her partner.
On Saturday, the avalanche risk in Summit County, Aspen, Steamboat and Gunnison will increase from moderate to considerable, meaning anybody on those mountains may experience dangerous conditions.
If you’re headed to the mountains, watch for signs of unstable snow, such as cracks in the snow and the sound of snowpack collapsing.
For the latest updates on avalanche risk, check CAIC’s website here.