Seven people caught in avalanche activity triggered by humans in Rocky Mountain National Park
Conditions and an underestimation by visitors contributed to the avalanches, park officials say
The Denver Post
The avalanches at Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday were triggered by humans, park officials said Tuesday.
Seven people were caught in the avalanche activity above Emerald Lake, but did not suffer serious injuries.
The avalanches occurred in steep terrain, and though the danger rating was “moderate,” the conditions increased the avalanche activity, spokeswoman Kyle Patterson said in a statement. Those conditions included the prior week’s snowfall, wind slab formation and warming temperatures, she said.
Visitors underestimated the conditions, Patterson said.
“It is important for those who recreate in the backcountry to be knowledgeable concerning safe travel in avalanche terrain. These users should also practice good situational awareness and decision-making and be aware there may be other users above or below them,” she said in the statement.
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A new 6-mile jug handle trail has been added to the Emma side of land known as the Crown. The Vasten Trail provides options for mountain bikers in the popular area.