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

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Tomorrow

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 South 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) 27 to 32 45 to 50 28 to 33
Wind Speed (mph) 5 to 15 5 to 15 8 to 18
Wind Direction N WSW WSW
Sky Cover Mostly Clear Mostly Clear Mostly Clear
Snow (in) 0 0 0

Archived Forecasts

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Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 7:35 AM
Issued by: Brian Lazar Statewide Weather Forecast  

Winter is slow to come to the South 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.

The snow cover seems best  around Wolf Creek Pass where the last few storms deposited more snow. In many areas, the snowpack consist entirely of faceted snow and there is no slab. 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 is faceted from top to bottom with no 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. 


  • Natural avalanche near summit of Wolf Creek Pass, 11/18. (full)
  • Natural avalanche near summit of Wolf Creek Pass, 11/18. (full)
  • Typical fragile, early season structure. (full)
  • The Rt side of the photo the trees face northerly, while the Lt slope in the photo is westerly. Not a lot of snow cover in many areas. (full)

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Avalanche Observations
No relevant backcountry observations found for this forecast

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Field Reports
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Weather Observations
Station Date Time Temperature Relative Humidity Wind Speed Wind Direction Max Gust 24 Hr Snow
Wolf Creek Pass Wed Nov 22 8:00 PM 39 48 23 355 41 -
Columbus Basin Wed Nov 22 7:00 PM 40 - - - - -
Cumbres Trestle Wed Nov 22 7:00 PM 34 - - - - 1.0
Lily Pond Wed Nov 22 7:00 PM 39 - - - - -
Upper San Juan Wed Nov 22 7:00 PM 37 - - - - -
Wolf Creek Summit Wed Nov 22 7:00 PM 43 - - - - -

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