Trespassing on Colorado's ski resorts during closures can be dangerous and sometimes deadly.
Telluride Ski Resort took to Twitter on November 17 to notify the public that travel on resort terrain is prohibited at this time as the mountain will be working with the US Forest Service to detonate explosives on the peak.
Howitzers are commonly used in Colorado as a means of avalanche mitigation, launching explosives onto the mountain to intentionally trigger slides that may put guests at risk. While the artillery fire and the avalanches that result from this practice can be dangerous to those not following the rules, it's also worth noting that shrapnel from the explosion can travel nearly 2,000 feet from the blast, according to the resort. This round of blasting is set to take place on November 18 at 2:30 PM. It is crucial to steer clear of the mountain at this time and until the resort is officially open.
Believe it or not, hundreds of explosives are launched at Colorado's mountains each year. Last year, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) used more than 1,500 explosive ordinances across the backcountry for avalanche mitigation purposes – keep in mind that CDOT doesn't manage ski resort mitigation either. It's also worth noting that CDOT announced that 22 explosives didn't detonate last winter, which prompted a warning for the public to be on the lookout and to report these "torpedo-like" shells immediately if found as they can still be dangerous.
The blasting at Telluride comes ahead of their scheduled November 26 opening and on the heels of multiple early season storms that have rolled through the area in recent weeks, including one that dropped four inches on the mountain this weekend.