The recent heavy spring snowstorms have not only boosted snowpack levels in much of Colorado. The storms have also led to an increase in avalanche danger.
Dale Atkins has been tracking hundreds of avalanche deaths for years but the fatality report that arrived from Utah Friday morning was especially shocking.
"It's way too close to home," says Atkins, the Colorado-based president of the American Avalanche Association. "It's mind numbing...it's a slashing chill."
Crews from the Colorado Department of Transportation dropped explosives from a helicopter to trigger large avalanche slides Thursday.