Below-freezing temperatures Saturday night under clear skies will help minimize the threat of wet avalanches today. That said you should still plan to avoid slopes that have been heated by the sun for several hours and avoid spending extended periods of time under slopes with large cornice features. Easterly slopes will heat up first, followed by south, and then westerly slopes will become wet by the afternoon. Steep, rocky, and sunny slopes are most susceptible to wet avalanches as they warm throughout the day. Roller balls, pinwheels, and boot penetration deeper than about 8 inches are signs that a slope has become too wet. You can test the snow stability by stepping off your skis, board, or machine. If you sink deeper than about the top of your boots, larger and more dangerous avalanches are possible. Exit any slope immediately that becomes unsupportable or feels "punchy".
This is our 144th and final zone backcountry avalanche forecast for the 2016-17 season. Starting this afternoon, we will issue statewide avalanche summaries each Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday through the end of May. From all of us at the CAIC, thanks for a great season! Keep having fun and see you out there.
We have made impressive strides in our mission of avalanche forecasting and education here in Colorado. Help us continue that trend and donate to the Friends of CAIC fundraising campaign. https://avalanche.state.co.us/donate/.