• Backcountry Avalanche Forecast
  • Forecast Discussion
  • Observations & Weather Data

Thu, Mar 4, 2021 at 6:50 AM
Issued by: Mike Floyd

Thursday

 

Friday

Moderate (2) Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully.   Moderate (2) Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully.
Moderate (2) Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully.   Moderate (2) Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully.
Moderate (2) Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully.   Moderate (2) Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully.
  Danger Scale

  • No Rating
  • 1
    Low
  • 2
    Moderate
  • 3
    Considerable
  • 4
    High
  • 5
    Extreme

Summary

Snowfall throughout the day will increase your chances of triggering a dangerous avalanche. You can trigger a small avalanche of the new snow or a much larger avalanche that breaks deeper into old snow near the ground. Although unlikely, these large avalanches are hard to predict and may be impossible to escape. You may not get any warning of deep instability such as collapsing or cracking in the snow.

In this risky situation, you can reduce your chance of triggering these monster avalanches by avoiding steep, north, northeast, east, and southeast-facing slopes.

----------------------------------------

Please remember to recreate responsibly, including following state and local public health orders and social distancing recommendations.

 

Avalanche Problem

 
problem icon
N
S
E
W
NW
NE
SE
SW
Above Treeline
Near Treeline
Below Treeline
Certain
Very Likely
Likely
Possible
Unlikely
Historic
Very Large
Large
Small
Avalanche Character Aspect/Elevation Likelihood Size

What You Need to Know About These Avalanches


Persistent Slab avalanches can be triggered days to weeks after the last storm. They often propagate across and beyond terrain features that would otherwise confine Wind and Storm Slab avalanches. In some cases they can be triggered remotely, from low-angle terrain or adjacent slopes. Give yourself a wide safety buffer to address the uncertainty.

Avalanche Problem

 
problem icon
N
S
E
W
NW
NE
SE
SW
Above Treeline
Near Treeline
Below Treeline
Certain
Very Likely
Likely
Possible
Unlikely
Historic
Very Large
Large
Small
Avalanche Character Aspect/Elevation Likelihood Size

What You Need to Know About These Avalanches


Storm Slab avalanches release naturally during snow storms and can be triggered for a few days after a storm. They often release at or below the trigger point. They exist throughout the terrain. Avoid them by waiting for the storm snow to stabilize.

Avalanche Problem

 
problem icon
N
S
E
W
NW
NE
SE
SW
Above Treeline
Near Treeline
Below Treeline
Certain
Very Likely
Likely
Possible
Unlikely
Historic
Very Large
Large
Small
Avalanche Character Aspect/Elevation Likelihood Size

What You Need to Know About These Avalanches


Persistent Slab avalanches can be triggered days to weeks after the last storm. They often propagate across and beyond terrain features that would otherwise confine Wind and Storm Slab avalanches. In some cases they can be triggered remotely, from low-angle terrain or adjacent slopes. Give yourself a wide safety buffer to address the uncertainty.

Weather Forecast for 11,000ft Issued Fri, Mar 5, 2021 at 4:20 AM by Mike Floyd Statewide Weather Forecast
  Thursday Thursday Night Friday
Temperature (ºF) 26 to 31 10 to 15 27 to 32
Wind Speed (mph) 5 to 15 7 to 17 10 to 20
Wind Direction N WSW W
Sky Cover Clear Clear Mostly Clear
Snow (in) 0 0 0

Archived Forecasts

  • Select Forecast: Valid

Thu, Mar 4, 2021 at 7:30 AM
Issued by: Kreston Rohrig Statewide Weather Forecast  

Today's storm shouldn't add enough load to change our current Persistent Slab avalanche problem. It's still lingering and still a major concern, but it will likely need more snow to start seeing naturals or a higher likelihood of triggering. However, smaller avalanches in the new snow will be on the rise. There is plenty of slick or weak old snow surfaces for the new snow to slide on out there that will become more problematic as storm totals stack up. West winds will aid in new slab formation at higher elevations, so use extra caution on any steep piece of terrain where you find more than 8 inches of snow.

Conditions are tricky. It's getting harder to trigger an avalanche that will bury you, but if you hit the wrong spot on the wrong slope, you can trigger a slide that breaks very wide and brings down the entire season's snowpack. There is no way to see these weak areas when you are standing at the top of a slope, ready to drop in, or at the bottom of a slope thinking about climbing it on your snowmobile. You will not see signs of instability such as cracking and collapsing. You may not see any recent avalanche activity. You may not get scary results in snowpack tests. The only way to avoid this type of avalanche is to stay off north, northeast, east, and southeast-facing slopes near and above treeline.

If you are traveling on north through east to southeast-facing slopes steeper than about 30 degrees, especially near and above treeline, you are rolling the dice. You may get lucky and avoid the weak spots, or you may get unlucky and trigger a monster avalanche. When conditions are like this, it doesn't matter how much you know about snow and avalanches or how many years you have spent in the backcountry. If you are recreating on slopes steeper than about 30 degrees, it's purely a game of chance.

 


  • Profile at site of small whumpf on a northeast aspect neat treeline. It is representative of shallow areas where you might trigger avalanches. (full)
  • A CAIC Forecaster takes a look at the surface and near-surface snowpack conditions in the Front Range. Although the layers near the ground are weak and concerning, we still have to pay attention to what new snow will fall on as a storm moves in on Thursday.

See more photos & videos

Five Day Trend

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Today

Tomorrow

danger icon danger icon danger icon danger icon danger icon
danger icon danger icon danger icon danger icon danger icon
danger icon danger icon danger icon danger icon danger icon

  • No Rating
  • 1
    Low
  • 2
    Moderate
  • 3
    Considerable
  • 4
    High
  • 5
    Extreme
Avalanche Observations
Report Date # Elevation Aspect Type Trigger SizeR SizeD
View Wed Mar 3 - >TL E HS N R2 D2
View Wed Mar 3 - >TL SE - - - D2

See All Avalanche Observations

Field Reports
Report Date Observer Snowpack Obs Avalanches Media
View Thu Mar 4 Ben Hogan No No No
View Wed Mar 3 Spencer Logan No No Yes (3)
View Wed Mar 3 Jordan Lipp No Yes (1) Yes (1)
View Tue Mar 2 Justin Swantek No Yes (2) Yes (3)
View Tue Mar 2 Jason Konigsberg No No Yes (5)
View Tue Mar 2 Eric Krause No No No

See All Field Reports

Weather Observations
Station Date Time Temperature Relative Humidity Wind Speed Wind Direction Max Gust 24 Hr Snow
Bottle Peak Fri Mar 5 5:00 AM 17 94 9 278 10 -
Berthoud Pass Fri Mar 5 5:00 AM 13 93 3 30 10 -
Cameron Pass Fri Mar 5 5:50 AM 15 84 3 184 4 -
Loveland Pass Fri Mar 5 5:00 AM 12 91 4 175 11 -

See All Weather Observations