Colorado Avalanche Information Center


There are avalanches being reported in the high country already. On Saturday, a skier triggered a large slide on a mountain near Gothic. Forecasters from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center say the activity is due to new and wind-drifted snow gathering on old, weak layers from storms in October. Brian Lazar is with the Center.

Brian Lazar is the Deputy Director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

Colorado Avalanche Information Center

On Tuesday, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center released a more detailed review of what happened during a slide on New Year’s Day. Aspen Mountain Powders Tours had a tough day on the first day of 2015. The company, operated through Aspen Skiing Company, had a ski guide injured in an avalanche, and was one person away from injuring a client. 


There’s no expected release date for a review of an avalanche accident on New Year’s Day next to Aspen Mountain. The slide injured a ski guide with Aspen Mountain Powder Tours while he was making turns with clients. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says its report on the accident isn’t like most, because the review was requested by a private company, rather than the CAIC trying to figure out what happened during a backcountry accident.  

CAIC/Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol

There’s an avalanche watch for Aspen and surrounding areas, from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. The CAIC says new snow and winds from an ongoing winter storm make natural and human triggered snow slides likely on steep slopes with an angle of more than thirty degrees.

Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol

The man who died in avalanche on the west side of Aspen Mountain was a long-time local who skied every day. John Martin Gancsos went by “Marty,” and had two passions: skiing and whitewater kayaking. The avalanche he was caught in Monday happened outside the ski area boundary, in an area Gancsos knew well. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

The atmosphere at Little Annie’s Eating House Tuesday was somber. Marty Gancsos had been working night shifts at the restaurant as a favor to a friend. Rohn Fleming owns Little Annie’s and asked Gancsos to jump on board.

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There’s been a troubling problem with avalanche deaths in recent years... and now Powder Magazine and gear company  Black Diamond have joined forces to figure out what's going on. They’ve hired a freelance journalist to dig deep into what happened during certain accidents-- and what's being done to help backcountry travelers make better decisions when avoiding avalanches. APR's Elise Thatcher talks with writer David Page about the project, called "The Human Factor."


Wednesday’s big snowflakes were the first major sign of winter in Colorado’s high country and one organization is already warning powder hungry skiers to be wary of avalanches in the backcountry. 

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center put out a statement on Wednesday warning of avalanches in October. Avalanche Forecaster Scott Toepfer says it’s not uncommon to see slides this early in the season and usually skiers are unprepared.

Photo by Dale Atkins/RECCO

It’s been a big avalanche season this winter, with some of the most powerful Colorado slides experts have seen. Now, the state’s hub for avalanche forecasting is hoping to add ways to help people avoid getting caught in avalanche accidents. The non-profit  Friends of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center is aiming to raise a hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. To find out exactly what that money would go towards, Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher talks with Ethan Greene, Executive Director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. 

Colorado Avalanche Information Center

A combination of record snow, wind and warming temperatures created a disaster in the backcountry over the weekend. An avalanche on the east-side of Independence Pass Saturday killed two skiers Saturday. And, the state’s avalanche center says it hasn’t seen such large, destructive avalanches in 20 years. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with John Snook, a forecaster at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.