Wrapping a cliffside high above Telluride, Colorado, the iconic Telluride Via Ferrata was temporarily closed due to a mudslide that occurred on Monday afternoon. This closure was put in place along with a closure of Bridal Veil Road, the access road for the via ferrata route.
The closure was expected to last at least through Tuesday as mitigation work was conducted, though both the road and the cliffside route reopened on Tuesday morning after early completion of necessary safety repairs.
Mudslides that took place were estimated to be up to three to five feet deep and 35 feet wide. Boulders the size of "small refrigerators" were reported.
It was later estimated that at least 40 people had been impacted by the slides. According to a 5:45 PM update, more than two dozen hikers were able to leave without help from responding teams. Roughly a dozen cars also exited the scene after safe driving conditions were created for them.
There was no mention in official statements of the via ferrata course being damaged.
Imogene Pass is also closed and will reopen when it can happen safely and responsibly.
The Via Ferrata course is a popular attraction in Telluride, as is Bridal Veil Falls – Colorado's tallest free-falling waterfall. The Via Ferrata course allows hikers to traverse a cliffside on metal rungs and handholds using special safety equipment. Read more about it here.
The road that allows access to the via ferrata is quite steep, consisting of many switchbacks. This makes it susceptible to mudslides amid heavy rain.