Avalanche Rips Across Colorado Highway, Swallows Cars in Snow

If you've never encountered an avalanche in person, it's tough to understand just how enormously powerful they can be...

If you've never seen an avalanche in person, it's tough to understand just how enormously powerful they can be. The sheer force of a wall of snow barreling down the side of a mountain is, in a word, terrifying. A handful of drivers in Colorado can confirm as much after an avalanche barreled across a roadway this weekend and instantly delivered a complete whiteout. 

Drivers on a stretch of Interstate 70 in Summit County, Colorado on Sunday were faced with a hazard most people will never experience behind the wheel: a huge avalanche rapidly approaching the roadway from the top of a nearby mountain. The enormous cloud of freshly fallen snow expanded as it moved, and ended up pelting all traffic in its path, as you can see from the vantage point of one man who managed to capture the whole experience on camera. Miraculously, officials say no one was killed or injured.

In the clip (shown above), you can see the powder cloud descend the summit and eventually engulf an entire section of the multi-lane highway dotted with cars. Most drivers appear to stop in their tracks as the impending wave of white stuff neared. The man behind the camera starts moving in reverse, but isn't able to escape the whiteout. Another driver further behind also caught the action on their smartphone, and the footage was later tweeted out by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

Evidently, the conditions soon dissipated and the highway remained open with no avalanche-related injuries reported, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. 

So, just something to keep in mind next time you start thinking there's nothing worse than rush-hour traffic.

h/tSummit Daily

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.