GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. The avalanche danger for the Grand Mesa is considerable.
It is at a level three for risk near the tree line. This level indicates that the snowpack stability is moderately to weakly bonded on many steep slopes. It's a good reminder to outdoor enthusiasts who snowshoe, ski, or snowboard to be careful. Always stay aware of where you are and the avalanche risk for that area.
Seth Anderson, one of the co-owners of Loki Outerwear, has considerable experience with winter mountain sports but even he fell victim to an avalanche in 2010. He knows that even with experience Mother Nature can still be dangerous.
"My brother and I have climbed, skied, and snowboarded probably 200 mountains and the Grand Mesa, right above town got me in a nasty avalanche. You never know snow can slide at any time. It's dangerous," says Anderson. He also wants people to know that if there is a chance of an avalanche, or you’re not sure about the conditions it’s better to avoid the area than to risk being in an avalanche.
It's important to have the right gear when you're in the back country. Carrying things such as extra food, an avalanche transceiver, and a rescue kit are important. But more importantly, pay close attention to forecasts and warnings, travel in a group, be prepared, and do your best to avoid avalanche danger zones.