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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

Saja Hindi
The Denver Post
High winds blow snow high in the peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park on Jan. 22, 2018 in Estes Park.
Helen H. Richardson/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.

Read the full story from The Denver Post.


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