A driver and his son are in awe after narrowly avoiding a massive avalanche along a Colorado highway.
The billowing white cloud blocking the horizon was caught on camera from two miles away as the driver slowed their vehicle along I-70 in the stretch between Frisco and Copper Mountain in Ten Mile Canyon.
Jacob Easton told FOX31:
"All of a sudden, me and my dad just saw a big white cloud to the left of us and we instantly noticed the avalanche."
Footage from Mother Nature's fury was posted on Twitter, and it is equal parts terrifying and extraordinary.
Caught on camera: @KDVR viewer captured this video of an #avalanche near I-70 today in Ten Mile Canyon between Fris… https://t.co/CDmQMq2hgy— Jeremy Hubbard (@Jeremy Hubbard)1551651767.0
Thankfully, they were at a safe enough distance, and the cataclysm posed no immediate threat. While their windshield was plastered from the elements, it wasn't enough to trap them inside the car.
"It's exciting, but pretty nerve-wracking, because you don't know when it's going to stop," Easton said.
Colorado State Patrol reported no injuries or trapped vehicles, but the highway was shut down for three hours – eastbound at Vail, and westbound at Frisco – while emergency service workers cleared the snowy debris.
FOX31 reported an earlier, separate avalanche in the same area that did not reach the highway.
@mindoca @KDVR @ColoradoDOT says the snow didn’t reach the interstate. Doesn’t appear anyone was hurt.— Jeremy Hubbard (@Jeremy Hubbard)1551653357.0
Meanwhile, online, viewers were shouting at their screens as if they were watching a catastrophe movie.
@RoxieKat @JeremyHubbard @KDVR I mean I hope everyone is okay, but I am yelling “back up” at the screen and takes them forever to hear me. 😱— Tea (@Tea)1551655356.0
@IcedTea17 @JeremyHubbard @KDVR that's what I was saying "Why are you still moving forward???"— Catherine (@Catherine)1551655181.0
@PJBradley4 @IcedTea17 @RoxieKat @JeremyHubbard @KDVR I was yelling stop STOP and back up. Then OMG that car got swallowed up!— Mare (@Mare)1551663253.0
@JeremyHubbard @KDVR Was anyone else yelling ‘Back up!’ while watching this, or just me?— Amanda C (@Amanda C)1551664342.0
Brandon Ciullo is another witness of the avalanche and posted footage after the white dust had settled and traffic crawled to a standstill.
"It was not a controlled slide. It was a natural avalanche," confirmed a spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center issued an avalanche warning in most of the Northern and Central Mountains of Colorado through Monday.
They advised drivers to exercise caution particularly when near "steeper overhead slopes."
"A potent winter storm caused avalanche danger to rise yesterday and very dangerous conditions persist today. Large human-triggered avalanches will be very easy to trigger, and some avalanches may release naturally."
Snow debris from Avalanche slide today on I-70 #SumCo https://t.co/0dBmiFnEoU— SCSOPIO (@SCSOPIO)1551664473.0
Avalanche on March 3rd in Tenmile Canyon in Summit County, Colorado. The highway was unaffected by the avalanche. A… https://t.co/ilisftlirO— CAIC:Statewide Info (@CAIC:Statewide Info)1551632527.0
@JeremyHubbard @mindoca @KDVR @ColoradoDOT Just a snow cloud, I assume. Still scary looking and a strong pucker factor. At least an eight.— Jimmo (@Jimmo)1551661509.0
@JeremyHubbard @mindoca @KDVR @ColoradoDOT Just scared half to death! Once the white out reached the highway they h… https://t.co/tFB7ggCWme— sun’s out (@sun’s out)1551713167.0
This public service announcement reminded drivers to never underestimate avalanches.
@JeremyHubbard @mindoca @KDVR @ColoradoDOT Yes, thank God! BUT. NEVER drive toward an avalanche or dust cloud. P… https://t.co/SUE4GoMPgM— Nancy47459 🇺🇸 #SaveTimeless (@Nancy47459 🇺🇸 #SaveTimeless)1551666232.0
@JeremyHubbard @ezralevant @KDVR It was at this point that the driver realised brown underpants was the right choice that day......— Badminton Bob (@Badminton Bob)1551662175.0
While everyone's natural impulse suggested backing up, that's not a wise decision either.
@JeremyHubbard @KDVR Everyone is telling them to back up sooner....it’s the interstate. Cars are coming at you going 60-70 mph.— ❤️🇺🇸J.E.🇺🇸❤️ (@❤️🇺🇸J.E.🇺🇸❤️)1551662039.0
@miukey6666 @JErixon24 @JeremyHubbard @KDVR Most of the cloud that reaches the interstate is just going to settle a… https://t.co/M7QMVQ0wHt— MRD (@MRD)1551703064.0
References to Game of Thrones was inevitable.
@JeremyHubbard @DrAHButler @KDVR White walkers— Rob Wilbraham (@Rob Wilbraham)1551661388.0
@RobWilbraham @JeremyHubbard @DrAHButler @KDVR Winter is coming— Paul Jamilkowski (@Paul Jamilkowski)1551670326.0
Please drive safely. And try to enjoy the view, and not be a part of the view.