Avalanche danger on Arbaney-Kittle | AspenTimes.com

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Avalanche danger on Arbaney-Kittle

Dear Editor:

Over the past few years, the hike up Arbaney-Kittle Trail has become an increasingly popular workout for many people in the Roaring Fork Valley. Hikers now are using the trail on a daily basis through the winter. Hikers need to understand that the Arbaney-Kittle Trail/Arbaney Gulch penetrates into serious avalanche terrain. The snowpack resting above the Arbaney-Kittle Trail has significant weakness, and small, shallow avalanches have been observed as a result of wind loading of fairly insignificant snowfall.

Arbaney Gulch is a terrain trap in which a small avalanche can be deadly. Most avalanches occur during or just following storm activity. Consult the Colorado Avalanche Information Center website for the current avalanche forecast. If you are hiking Arbaney-Kittle in the winter, you have become a participant in a backcountry activity. If you’re not paranoid, you’re not paying attention!

Phil Eastley