Be prepared during avalanche season

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) -- Avalanche danger across the Western Slope remains high Monday night after a series of storms swept through the western part of the state.

The Grand Mesa is on the list of places where experts warn may face dangerous avalanche conditions, that warning from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

The warning has search and rescue, CDOT and other agencies on high alert.

"It's extremely high risk to just go out without having the education and then also the research on the conditions,” Rob Martindale, snow operations team leader for Mesa County Search and Rescue, said.

Search and rescue say if you don’t know what you’re doing, or what the conditions will look like, going out into the backcountry to recreate could be deadly.

In fact, a 40-year-old man from Longmont died Saturday from an avalanche in the San Juans just northwest of Red Mountain Pass.

It’s also important to make sure you can be found if something happens to you. Tell people where you’re going, and have a beacon on you. Search and rescue say it often takes hours to find someone who’s been buried in an avalanche.

They also say it’s a lot to learn, but taking a class is one of the best ways to be prepared before being in avalanche territory.

Search and rescue also says it’s vital that you look up avalanche conditions before you hit the road.

"That will tell you immediately where the good spots are to go and where the dangerous spots are,” Doug Sieckert, a member of the search and rescue ground team, said.

We have a link to the right of this article to see current Grand Mesa avalanche conditions.

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