Tag Archives: Leadville Schools

Leadville News – February 20

Need Help Growing Grass? Sign Up Now!

If you’re a grass grower, you may want to circle Thursday, March 1 on your calendar because help is on the way! But first, it’s important to note that it’s not the kind of grass you’ll find in your pipe, but rather the kind you want in your pasture!

Dawson Pasture Walk_Jelf

Ranchers and community members enjoyed last summer’s Pasture Walk at Lake County’s historic Mary Smith Ranch and the Ray and Joan Dawson Ranch. The tour was led by the the Lake County Conservation District. Photo: Leadville Today/Mary Jelf

The Lake County Conservation District will be hosting a Grazing Management Workshop: Learn How to Grow More Grass in Your Pastures on March 1 from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. The program will take place at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville.

Many readers may know that there is a Noxious Weed Management program in place for Lake County, which is run by the Chaffee County Weed Department. According to their website, The Chaffee County Weed Department manages noxious/invasive weeds within the county according to the Colorado Weed Law and Chaffee Counties Noxious Weed Management Plan. 

Pasture Walk_Barbed Wire

Can you see the difference? Come and find out how to grow better grass on March 1.

The Chaffee Weed Department will consult with private landowners to help manage noxious/invasive weeds on their property.  The department can help with best management practices to control noxious weeds.  If the landowner so desires the department can make herbicide applications on private land.  There is an hourly charge to cover equipment and labor plus the cost of the herbicide for this service.

The department is available to help or advise landowners and manages in Chaffee and Lake Counties. To register for the workshop, or for more information you may contact Joan Dawson at 719-486-0537 or email the Lake County Conservation District at lakecountyc@gmail.com

Leadville News – February 19

Lost Snowmobilers Found Safe Over Weekend 

While high country dwellers are glad to see snowstorms roll through, leaving behind miles of fresh snow for outdoor winter activities, backcountry adventure can quickly turn into something more threatening.

Bald Mountain Slide

Backcountry conditions are ripe for avalanche triggers, like this natural one recorded by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center at Bald Mountain. Photo: CAIC

Such was the case this weekend as Lake County Search and Rescue (LCSAR) teams were called out to assist with two missing snowmobilers. Fortunately, this story has a happy ending.

According to Public Information Officer Betty Benson, the initial call came into Lake County Dispatch at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17. The caller reported that two male snowmobilers, ages 53 and 45, had not returned to their car and had not picked up their lunches. Saturday evening a LCSAR team was deployed to the popular snowmobile area known as Chalk Creek. Many residents know the area as the stretch along Highway 91 heading north towards the Climax Mine where vehicles and trailers are often parked in a hap-hazardous and dangerous manner, often time spilling out onto the roadway.

After several hours of twilight-hour attempts continued into the dark night, the first search attempt was called off at midnight on Saturday due to high winds and avalanche conditions. On Sunday, Feb. 18 morning teams were back at the site at 6 a.m. with some additional assistance from the High Altitude Army National Guard Training Site (HAATS), the Vail Mountain Rescue Group, Summit County Search and Rescue, and the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC), all providing advanced technology assistance to aid in the search.

 Fortunately the additional flight assistance paid off and a helicopter crew spotted the snowmobilers at 9:30 a.m. While continuing high winds, thwarted an air landing, crews were able to provide the site coordinates to the rescue teams, who eventually made visual contact with the snowmobilers at 10:45 a.m. and made a plan to bring the men down to the Chalk Creek parking lot, concluding the rescue mission at 1:20 p.m., yesterday. The two snowmobilers were uninjured and able to depart with their family members after spending a memorable overnight in the snowy backcountry.

Lake Couty Search and Rescue

Thanks to Lake County Search and Rescue team for another successful mission. If you’re interested in becoming part of this team, connect with them on Facebook. Photo: Pictured here during a recent training session, new members of the LCOEM practice rescue techniques.

While yesterday’s mission had a safe ending, as backcountry snow conditions change and shift with each winter storm the Colorado Avalanche Information Center is issuing warnings to backcountry enthusiasts to avoid places where you can trigger an avalanche in the Sawatch zone, which includes Lake County. Authorities report that while conditions for triggers “are decreasing, the avalanche you trigger will be large and dangerous. The most dangerous areas are near and above treeline slopes that face northwest, north through east and southeast. Strong winds on Saturday built new cornices and snow drifts that can produce avalanches. You can also trigger an avalanche that breaks down to the very weak snow near the ground. 

Last week’s storms produced large natural avalanches throughout the Sawatch zone, which includes Lake County, clearly showing how fragile the old snowpack is and reinforcing the terrain you should avoid. Today, the CAIC cautions users to “avoid traveling on or under slopes steeper than about 35 degrees with new snow drifts. The avalanche hazard is less pronounced on lower elevation south and west-facing terrain, however, these slopes could see an increase in loose snow activity as temperatures rise today.”

The next winter storm is approaching. Expect the avalanche danger to rise in Leadville Today and into Tuesday.

Warning Avalanche