Colorado Avalanches: I-70 Avalanche


A few perspectives on avalanches along I-70 March 3, 2019, west of Vail, between Copper Mountain and Frisco, Colorado.



Video catches avalanche ripping through Ten Mile Canyon near Interstate 70
Summit Daily, March 3, 2019
By Eli Pace
(Article includes video.)

"Driving to Glenwood Springs for a vehicle recovery, Brandon Ciullo was on Interstate 70 when he saw an avalanche rip through Ten Mile Canyon between Frisco and Copper Mountain."

Note that this avalanche was a natural release, it was not set by CDOT.


Avalanche on I-70
Fox31, March 3, 3019

AVALANCHE CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Snow came crashing down near I-70 in Ten Mile Canyon outside Copper Mountain in Colorado.

Watch the video on Fox31 KDVR Facebook. Here's the story behind this amazing video:

Note that this avalanche was a natural release, it was not set by CDOT, regardless of what the vehicle occupants say in the video. (Are you kidding? A professional road maintenance operation setting a controlled slide on an interstate highway, let alone any highway open to the public would be negligent beyond the pale.)



This is another view of that same avalanche provided by Matt Makens via Facebook.
March 3, 2019

"Another video of the avalanche just west of Frisco along I 70. I’d be backing out of the way too. Luckily the slide only spread a “dusting” over the interstate compared to the totality of the slide."



This avalanche is the same as the one above. These are the vehicles that were impacted by the slide.


Vehicles hit by avalanche on I-70 in Colorado
Meteorologist Cory Reppenhagen, NBC 9News Colorado
March 3, 2019

The family that got hit by an avalanche on I-70 yesterday had their dashcam rolling. The driver said it pushed him off the road and covered the highway with several inches of snow. Luckily he and his family was able to drive away unharmed. No one else was injured either. Video is Courtesy of Shaune Golemon. (Location is “just east of Copper Mountain.”)


Below, same avalanche, video on YouTube…

This avalanche near Copper Mountain fell down the mountain and onto I-70. It hit a few cars, including this pickup. Nobody was hurt and the damage was minor.

'Just hold onto something': Family describes surviving avalanche that swept them off I-70:
Shaune Golemon and his family were heading back from a day of skiing when an avalanche swept their truck into the median., March 6, 2019
By Amanda Kesting, Janet Oravetz and Bobbi Sheldon.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — Shaune Golemon and his family were headed home from a day of skiing on Sunday when the unimaginable happened. His young daughter, who was in the back seat of their truck, was the first to notice the danger coming their way as they drove home on Interstate 70.

"She started saying, ‘Hey! Hey! Hey!' You know, trying to get our attention, you know, ‘What is that?'" Golemon said. "And Tram [Shaune's wife] looked over and she started yelling, you know, ‘Avalanche! Avalanche!”

He said he had seconds to decide what to do. Golemon said he thought about trying to speed up or slow down, but ultimately, due to the road conditions, decided it was best to take his foot off the gas and coast.

“So much was going through my head at the time. I was checking the rear-view to see if I had room to stop, you know," he said. "I was trying to gauge, 'Can I outrun it?' And eventually, I told her, I said, ‘There’s nothing we can do. Just hold onto something.'"

Read the full article »

The family was caught in the second of two avalanches on Sunday. Both happened between Copper Mountain and Frisco in an area known as Officer’s Gulch. I-70 was closed down for several hours Sunday afternoon after the second slide covered the highway.

Webmaster’s’ Note: As the article above indicates there were apparently two avalanches in the Frisco - Copper Mountain section of I-70. This is the first place I’ve seen that has clearly stated there were two separate slides. With the different camera angles it’s hard to determine which is which. Whatever… It’s just interesting to see the videos of these slides. Of course it’s ideal that no one was hurt. Perhaps this all is to say that even with the best efforts, avalanches are still going to happen.



This avalanche is unrelated to the videos and articles above.


LEADVILLE, Colo. — Crews are working to free multiple cars that are trapped by an avalanche on Highway 91 near Copper Mountain, the Colorado State Patrol has confirmed.

The natural avalanche occurred around 4 p.m. Thursday at mile marker 21. Trooper Gary Cutler told Denver7 that the 15-feet deep, 300-feet wide slide buried three or four cars. He said all the occupants are safe and accounted for.

Read the article »



Controlled Avalanche on I-70 at Herman Gulch
By Meteorologist Cory Reppenhagen
(View on Facebook)

C-DOT triggered this avalanche that rolled over both lanes of I-70, and covered the road with snow. This one went pretty big, so I guess it's a good thing it didn't let go naturally while the road was open. The interstate was closed for about 8 hours for several slide cleanups. This video was shot by our news chopper.