The O. Zone

Springtime means possible flooding, hungry bears and avalanche danger up high

By David O. Williams
Real AspenMay 26, 2011

It's hard to gripe too much about our persistent winter-like weather in the Vail Valley when the very same storms continuing to dump snow on our heads late into May are rolling off the Rockies and spawning deadly tornadoes on the Great Plains.

Our collective thoughts and prayers go out to those folks across Tornado Alley who are enduring one of the most destructive tornado seasons in the nation's history – especially in Joplin, Missouri. The width of that storm (three quarters of a mile) and distance it was on the ground (seven miles) is about the length and width of the entire town of Vail.

But all we have to worry about in the mountains these days is a brutally cold spring lingering way too long. Still, as the snowpack increases up high, we actually don't want it to get too hot too quickly. A week in the 80s and some folks whose homes are close to the banks of Gore Creek and the Eagle River could see flooding of their yards and maybe even the lower levels of their homes.

The Vail Valley, knock on beetle-killed wood, is a relatively disaster-free part of the country. A 15-year mountain pine bark beetle epidemic has killed the majority of the mature lodgepole pine trees in the valley, ratcheting up the wildfire danger, but Vail Fire Chief Mark Miller, when asked what kind of wildfire season it will be given all the precipitation, said, “A late one.”

“You look out there and say, ‘Gosh, how could it burn? It just snowed like a week ago,'” Miller said. “But in essence this does create this false sense of security, and if we had a week of really high temperatures and high winds, we'd be right back into a red flag warning on a continuous basis.” The way things are going, though, Miller says peak fire season won't come until August or even September.

Incredibly, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center is warning backcountry skiers, snowmobilers and hikers to beware of the huge snowpack looming up high. As if to underscore their concern, a snowboarder was killed Saturday in an avalanche in Dead Dog Couloir on 14,267-foot Torreys Peak in nearby Clear Creek County.

And then we always have wildlife concerns. A pack of coyotes killed a woman's dog in the Aspen area last week, prompting an alert from the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and then on Wednesday I spotted a coyote walking along the side of Interstate 70 near Avon.

Typically reclusive and nocturnal animals, coyotes can become emboldened in a pack, but are only really a threat to house pets. Mountain lions, on the other hand, will stalk and kill children and even adults – although attacks are rare. A cougar charged two young girls in the Denver suburb of Wheat Ridge on Sunday, and they've been known to stalk hikers and mountain bikers in the Vail Valley, although no one has ever been fatally attacked.

This time of the year, black bears are coming out of hibernation and not finding many berries to eat due to the cold spring. The town put of up a bear warning sign (see picture) this week in my West Vail neighborhood, mostly wanting people to keep an eye out, secure their trash and close their garage doors.

All in all, the disaster danger level is quite bearable in the Vail Valley.

Editor's note: A version of this blog first appeared on the Inspirato website.


comments: 13 Comments on "Springtime means possible flooding, hungry bears and avalanche danger up high"

Elizabeth – Aug. 02, 2022, at 7:07 a.m.

Choose a topic that your audience will find intriguing. You might not want to write about good cause and effect topics, if you find the subject interesting but your readers do not. Keep in mind that before beginning to write, a competent writer spends some time to think about their audience.

Alex Kelly – Sept. 29, 2022, at 7:36 p.m.

A cougar charged https://gas-stationsnearme.com/
in the Denver suburb of Wheat Ridge on Sunday and they've been known to stalk hikers and mountain bikers in the Vail Valley.

Margaret Stairs – Sept. 29, 2022, at 7:40 p.m.

A group of organizations apple td bank near me such as Wall Street to blame,” surprisingly not singling out President Barack Obama.

Elizabeth – Oct. 04, 2022, at 4:03 p.m.

Kinetics needs precise topic knowledge and exact calculations, much like any other area of physics. Many kids have trouble with their kinetic physics homework and don't perform well on their assignments. To find out what supplies you should get, you can speak with your teacher.

Elizabeth – Oct. 27, 2022, at 8:30 a.m.

This is also a very good post which I really enjoyed reading. It is not every day that I have the possibility to see something like this.. immobilien soegel

heravinluca92 – Oct. 31, 2022, at 4:15 a.m.

Win every 1v1 Battle. The best online shooting game of 2022 is waiting for you!

Lucastan – Oct. 31, 2022, at 5:10 a.m.

There are 3 game modes in geometry dash unblocked: Stereo Madness mode, Back on track mode, and Polargeist mode. Each game has its own interesting features that give players a unique experience.

Elizabeth – Nov. 01, 2022, at 4:08 p.m.

I was not able convert a pdf file into excel without software so I was looking on google but did not get any fruitful results. But then I reached https://www.airslate.com/workflows/document/hobbies-and-interests where I posted my question and guess what, I got quick responses. due to which i was able to complete my work.

Kyung  – Nov. 03, 2022, at 3:53 a.m.

Yes, you are right this is a great and awesome post on the website. Your website and web pages are good. keep it up and keep posting. If you want to know about test color blind test I suggest you read our article. Must visit https://www.colourinyourlife.com.au/members/colorblindtest/profile and give us your feedback.

rupertdibbert – Nov. 17, 2022, at 11:48 p.m.

This post is also excellent, and I really liked reading it. I don't get the chance to see something like this very often. Come to tiny fishing to relax.

Paigetaylor – Nov. 20, 2022, at 9:52 p.m.

Excellent information is provided through the website's articles. I have to tell that this is my first time visiting your website, and your post has truly impressed me. Do you often play fnf mods in autumn and winter?

lilycollins – Nov. 20, 2022, at 11:18 p.m.

One way that bears can get into trouble is by getting into an avalanche. Avalanches happen when a large amount of snow falls snake io on top of a hill and then collapses, burying everything underneath. Avalanches can happen when there is a lot of snow on top of a hill, but there is not enough snow on the bottom of the hill to keep it from collapsing.

henny123 – Dec. 05, 2022, at 12:02 a.m.

As springtime comes, many of us worry about basement flooding, which frequently results from wordle 2 snowmelt, strong rainfall events, and inadequate drainage. Because they are the lowest level of a house and are built below grade, basements are inherently vulnerable to floods.

COMMENT
Comment Form Info  Comment Information
Real Aspen encourages you to post comments on our articles and blogs. Logged in email is required for monitoring purposes. Your email will not be published and will not be distributed to any third-party. Abusive, obscene, profane, threatening, libelous or defamatory comments are prohibited. By posting a comment, you agree to this policy and our terms of use. To report an abusive posting, please contact us.

To make a comment, please log in or create an account. This helps us prevent spam and other malicious attacks.

Please log in to comment

 

Create a user account to comment

Snow Report

  24hr snow mid dpth snow cond.
A-Basin n/a n/a
Aspen n/a n/a closed
BC n/a n/a closed
Breckenridge n/a n/a closed
Buttermilk n/a n/a closed
Copper n/a n/a closed
Crest. Butte n/a n/a closed
Eldora n/a n/a closed
Heavenly n/a n/a closed
Highlands n/a n/a
Howelsen n/a n/a closed
Keystone n/a n/a closed
Kirkwood n/a n/a closed
Loveland n/a n/a
Monarch n/a n/a closed
Northstar n/a n/a closed
Powderhorn n/a n/a closed
Purgatory n/a n/a closed
Silverton n/a n/a closed
Ski Cooper n/a n/a closed
Ski Granby n/a n/a closed
Snowmass n/a n/a closed
Steamboat n/a n/a closed
Sunlight n/a n/a closed
Telluride n/a n/a closed
Vail n/a n/a closed
WinterPark n/a n/a closed
Wolf Creek n/a n/a closed
More Weather Reports
VIDEO GALLERY
Vail powder day snow snake
Airing it out at Crested Butte
Feb. 17, 2011 Surprise 14 inches of Fresh Powder