Experts: Type of avalanche that killed 5 in Colo. Saturday is among most difficult to predict

Published April 22, 2013

| Associated Press

The kind of avalanche that killed four snowboarders and a skier in Colorado over the weekend is among the most difficult to predict and trigger, but it's dangerous because of the amount of snow normally involved.

Saturday's slide near Loveland Pass is called a deep persistent slab avalanche, and backcountry snowboarders and skiers in the area were warned about that kind of avalanche that day.

It's also the same type of avalanche that killed a snowboarder Thursday near Vail Pass.

Ethan Greene of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said Monday that the danger level Saturday was rated as a 3 on the center's 5-level warning scale.

Typically, avalanches aren't as common in the spring, but new snow in Colorado's mountains have created avalanche conditions more like those usually seen in the winter.