02/24/2012 09:58 am ET Updated Apr 25, 2012

Colorado Avalanche Information Center: Forecasts For Avalanche Safety


The sound of avalanche-control explosives had been firing down the Crystal Creek drainage, near Breckenridge Ski Resort, on and off all day. But now, skiing higher into the wind-ripped drainage, near treeline, a boom rocketed down the valley so hard that the opposite side called back with an echo, prompting avalanche forecaster Scott Toepfer to pause and say:

"It's a little disconcerting, isn't it?" He resumed pushing his skis uphill and added, "That was a big one."

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