RockTalk: Avalanches in Colorado


This edition of RockTalk provides insight into the purpose of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center(CAIC) and covers the deadly nature of avalanches. Digital PDF download. RT-01-04D

From the Introduction:

Colorado Avalanche Information Center: A Short History

It is estimated that 20,000 avalanches fall annually in Colorado. A small percentage of these affect people, property, and highways. Every winter about 60 people are reported caught by avalanches, six are injured and six are killed. Additionally, avalanches cause about $100,000 in direct property damage and cause indirect economic losses of $3-5 million. (For example, a large storm on a Saturday could trigger avalanches onto highways, preventing 10,000 skiers from reaching ski resorts and resulting in revenue loss of $500,000.) Another 300 avalanches a year, many released with explosives by Colorado Department of Transportation(CDOT), hit state-managed highways.