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Thoughts and Experiences from the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado

Avalanche Buries Hwy 40 Over Berthoud Pass

Peter

Various news stations are just reporting an avalanche over Berthoud Pass, about 35 miles west of Denver. There are reports of cars being trapped and buried and maybe even some cars being pushed over the side of the road. This is a major highway for people to access Winter Park Ski Area. With all the new snow we have had and it being a Saturday, there were a lot of people heading to the mountains and skiing.

Highway 40 is a two to three lane road with many switchbacks and numerous avalanche runs coming down and crossing the highway. It is a pretty step valley. Usually, the Colorado Department of Transportation does control work in this area, so it is amazing this has happened here.

The drainage where this avalanche took place has been influenced by the last three storms that have hit the Colorado area. These avalanche runs also receive a lot of wind deposited snow from the west. It is a dangerous area when there is a big deposit of snow and wind with those storms.

I hope the rescuers are able to get to everyone in time.

Read Denver Post Story (Avalanche Traps Cars, Closes US 40)

Read Rocky Mountain News Story (Avalanche buries cars near Berthoud Pass)