It’s been a busy week for avalanche activity along Colorado’s highways. Check out some articles on this here.
Monarch Mountain works with CDOT to help mitigate some of the avalanche hazards along the US Highway 50 corridor. Adjacent to the ski area boundary are the Big Slide, Gunshot, and Gunbarrel Cutbank avalanche paths.
When recommended by the CAIC/CDOT Avalanche Forecaster, Monarch Ski Patrol conducts explosive mitigation routes on these slide paths.
Patrollers trained and licensed for explosive work approach these zones from above. Explosive charges are ignited with a one meter fuse and tossed down into the start zones of these paths. The goal of this work is to initiate an avalanche when the highway is closed and equipment is on site to clean up any avalanche debris that hits the road.