WATCH: Huge Avalanche on Telluride's Ajax Peak

by Kirsten Dobroth | February 2, 2017

An avalanche on Telluride’s Ajax Peak last week ripped down two avalanche chutes and towards town, and was caught on camera by a lively gang of locals. While it’s no secret that the western United States has gotten buried in snow so far this winter, the avalanche on Ajax Peak takes the cake. We’ve covered it all; ski resorts closing, record breaking totals, and avalanches that cover highways. A few weeks ago, there was even a story circulating about a skier-triggered avalanche near this area that buried a man who was dug out by a passing motorist who happened to be a snow safety pro (he luckily was unharmed in the accident).
Sometimes, though, seeing is believing. Case in point; avalanche control work on Telluride‘s Ajax Peak last week produced two massive slides off of the iconic peak that buttresses the tiny ski town (for anyone who has walked through downtown Telluride, things should look pretty familiar). It should be noted that no one was hurt in the slide; this was a controlled release that was produced by helicopters dropping explosives on the peak (you’ll see and hear the bombs). Releases like this one are an important part of maintaining roads, and preventing bigger problems later into the season. They’re also massively entertaining to watch from a safe distance.
Turn your sound up for this one; the resulting avalanche on Telluride’s Ajax peak seems to have even taken locals by surprise due to its enormity. Things start to get pretty lively around the 30 second mark.
Video courtesy of Visit Telluride/Caldera Creative.

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