Avalanche charge warning
Photo credit: brewbooks

Watch Out for Bombs on Colorado Trails, DoT Warns

Top photo credit: brewbooks

Unexploded avalanche ordnances may be dotting the Colorado landscape this spring.

Colorado hikers are used to staying vigilant for bears, snakes, and mountain lions. But now, it appears they may also have to remain wary of explosives, too.

The Colorado Department of Transportation issued a warning this month that nearly two dozen avalanche charges failed to explode this winter and may pose a danger to hikers.

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“It’s an explosive, so you definitely don’t want to do anything to move it,” CDOT communication manager Tracy Truelove told Fox 31. “A lot of times, it is just a dud and nothing will occur, but you want a team of trained professionals to detonate or disarm the explosive.”

According to Truelove, 22 of about 1,500 charges did not detonate as part of routine avalanche mitigation this winter. And she said the charges could be almost anywhere — and on either side of the Continental Divide.

“There’s a chance someone could come up on an unexploded ordnance,” Trulove said. “Our team is tracking where those unexploded ordnances are, but you may come up on them before we do.”

The charges are yellow, blue, or orange and look like “little torpedos,” according to Truelove. Anyone who comes across what may be an avalanche ordnance should keep a safe distance and immediately contact local law enforcement.

Truelove also noted that snow may still be burying some charges. If so, they won’t appear until later in the summer.

Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is the Editor In Chief of GearJunkie.

Adam has been covering daily news and writing about cycling, camping, hiking, and gear of all kinds for 15+ years. Prior to that, Adam lived in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, at which time he realized he’d never have a “normal job.” His pastimes — farming, bike racing, and fitness — provided a gateway to all manner of physical challenges and recreation outdoors.

Based in Kansas City, MO, Adam tests as much gear as he can get his hands, feet (and dog) into each and every day. As editor in chief, he works to maintain GearJunkie’s voice, style, and commitment to accurate and expert reporting across every category.