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Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 6:47 AM
Issued by: Brian Lazar

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Low (1) Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.   Low (1) Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
Low (1) Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.   Low (1) Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
Low (1) Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.   Low (1) Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
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Summary

There is not a lot of snow across the North San Juan zone, with little change on the near-term horizon. This makes avalanches unlikely in all but the isolated north-facing high-alpine slopes that hold pockets of wind-drifted and early season snow.  Even a small avalanche could result in an injury if you are dragged through rocks or trees in the shallow, early season snowpack. If you are planning to venture into high alpine northerly-facing terrain, evaluate steep gullies carefully before riding. In these areas you can trigger avalanches from below, so be cautious even on the approach. 

The Friends of CAIC are hosting the 10th Annual CAIC Benefit Bash on December 2, 2017 in Breckenridge The funds from this event go to support the CAIC and these backcountry forecasts. It’s an event not to miss. For more information and to purchase tickets visit: https://adecadedeep.eventbrite.com.

 

Recent Tweets

@CAIC: LOW(Level 1)- Not much snow but where there is snow on high norths small avalanches not out of the question. Nov 22, 7:37 AM
@CAIC: LOW(L1) Most dangerous slopes high elev Northerly where old snow exists Not a lot of snow but enough for Avys. Nov 21, 7:33 AM
Weather Forecast for 11,000ft Issued Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 11:51 AM by Brian Lazar Statewide Weather Forecast
  Wednesday Night Thursday Thursday Night
Temperature (ºF) 25 to 30 45 to 50 28 to 33
Wind Speed (mph) 5 to 15 5 to 15 10 to 20
Wind Direction N NW WSW
Sky Cover Mostly Clear Mostly Clear Partly Cloudy
Snow (in) 0 0 0

Archived Forecasts

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Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 7:36 AM
Issued by: Brian Lazar Statewide Weather Forecast  

Winter is slow to come to the North San Juan zone. The sheer lack of snow coverage means avalanches are unlikely. The isolated exceptions are those high-elevation shady slopes that held onto the early season snow. If you're looking to recreate on snow, these are also the slopes that will be most alluring, since elsewhere is very rocky and shallow. If you find a slab on northerly-facing aspects, there is also depth hoar on the ground. 

The snowpack is discontinuous in many areas, and in many places the snowpack is faceted from top to bottom with no overlying slab. If you find a slope with continuous snow cover where you don't fall right through to the ground, investigate the basal weak layers carefully before riding. Shallow areas on the margins of slopes, over rock bands and rollovers are the most likely place to trigger an avalanche. In these areas, the weak layer is closer to the snow surface making it easier to effect. 

On other slopes, you're biggest risk it hitting shallowly buried obstacles. It's still early, don't blow your whole season getting injured by thinking the thin blanket of snow does anything more than obscure nasty rocks and logs underneath. 


  • Coverage remains thin on sunny slopes. (full)
  • 2" of new snow fell in the Lizard Head pass area on November 17 & 18th. (full)
  • NE facing high alpine terrain holding early season snow. (full)
  • E-NE facing high alpine terrain holding early season snow. (full)

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Five Day Trend

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Avalanche Observations
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Field Reports
Report Date Observer Snowpack Obs Avalanches Media

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Weather Observations
Station Date Time Temperature Relative Humidity Wind Speed Wind Direction Max Gust 24 Hr Snow
Beartown Wed Nov 22 7:00 PM 31 - - - - 2.0
Kendall Mt Wed Nov 22 7:00 PM 30 73 19 354 31 -
Molas Pass Wed Nov 22 8:00 PM 40 59 11 11 24 2.1
Putney Wed Nov 22 8:00 PM 31 80 21 13 29 -
Swamp Angel Wed Nov 22 8:00 PM 31 83 2 263 5 -
El Diente Peak Wed Nov 22 7:00 PM 35 - - - - -
Lizard Head Pass Wed Nov 22 7:00 PM 38 - - - - 1.0
Lone Cone Wed Nov 22 7:00 PM 34 - - - - -
Moon Pass Wed Nov 22 7:00 PM 36 - - - - -
Slumgullion Wed Nov 22 7:00 PM 35 - - - - -

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