Avalanches are a real danger in Colorado and in fact they are by far the most dangerous natural event in the state. Statistics show that since 1950, avalanches have killed more people than any other natural hazard. Furthermore Colorado accounts for over 30% of all avalanche related deaths in the United States – this statistic has been fairly consistent for many decades – they are a real risk in Colorado.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) is a partnership program within the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and the Executive Director’s Office. It involves several other departments within the State including Government and private initiatives and groups. The mission of the CAIC is however very simple, to provide information, education and promote research into avalanches in order to protect life, property and the economy of the state.
The Colorado Avalanche Warning center is part of this initiative and has been operating since 1973 as part of a research program. The center issues public avalanche warnings and forecasts in order to help people become aware of the risks. This program is now run by the Colorado State Government although it was initially a federally funded project
As well as providing warnings the center provides lots of information on avalanches including running workshops with speakers and panelists from both the local area and around the world. It is considered an important venue and initiative for avalanche research and attracts experts from all over the planet.
Often the issue is the lack of awareness of the dangers of avalanches and a general public perspective of them. It’s often tailored by disaster movies although there is an interesting depiction on the foreign language movie – Force Majeure that gives a different view – you can watch it on most Netflix regions, check this for a VPN if you’re blocked.