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Red Mountain Pass closed ‘indefinitely’ after monster avalanche

Posted: 6:32 AM, Mar 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-11 20:23:34-04

OURAY – CDOT said in a Facebook post Sunday that Red Mountain Pass will remain closed for the foreseeable future due to more than 60 feet of snow and debris covering the roadway.

CDOT described the amount of snow from the latest slide as “incredible and daunting.”

Highway 550, which has already been closed for more than a week, will now stay closed after crews triggered avalanches added even more snow to the roadway, which was already covered by 20-30 feet of snow before the latest avalanche mitigation work.  Before these latest slides, CDOT called the amount of snow on the road “unprecedented.”

Red Mountain Pass snow shed
(Photo courtesy of CDOT Ouray Maintenance Operator, Dack Klein)

CDOT reports the mitigation operations over the weekend brought down 60 new feet of snow, which then spilled into the Riverside snow shed along the highway.

The avalanche filled the shed, which is designed to protect drivers over the slide path in case of a natural avalanche.