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

Wed, Apr 1, 2020 at 6:42 AM
Issued by: Mike Cooperstein

Today

 

Tomorrow

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.
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

You are most likely to trigger an avalanche on recently wind-loaded easterly and south-facing slopes. Look for and avoid any slopes where you see recent cornice formation, smooth rounds pillows of snow, or hard, hollow sounding slabs. Cracking and collapsing in the surface snow are signs of danger. If you trigger an avalanche in the recently drifted snow it can break 2 feet deep and can catch you off guard. In rare cases, avalanche in the freshly drifted snow can step down to deeper buried weak layers resulting in a larger more dangerous avalanche. 

Temperatures will warm into the high thirties today. You may be able to trigger small avalanches in the wet surface snow. These avalanches will grow larger as the day progresses. This is particularly true in areas where colder snow is seeing its first shot of sun. These avalanches will be relatively harmless unless you are caught in steep consequential terrain. A wet sticky snow surface, rollerballs, and small wet avalanches running from steep rocky terrain are signs of increasing danger and signs that you should find a cooler aspect to ride. If you find yourself sinking deeper than about 5 inches into wet snow it may be time to call it a day. Start on easterly-facing aspects and move west as the snow surface starts to warm. Think about your egress in the afternoon when conditions will be the most dangerous. Do not get stuck having to exit through steep westerly-facing terrain late in the afternoon. 

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If you are recreating, please do so responsibly. This includes following social distancing requirements, not taking actions that risk pulling emergency service workers away from the important work they’re doing, or compromising their ability to continue that work. Learn more about the CAIC’s work during the pandemic here.

Governor Polis issued a Statewide Stay-at-Home order on March 25, 2020 - Learn more here

Many of Colorado's counties have issued public health orders that affect travel and recreation. You can start your search for local information here. Here is some information for this zone: Eagle County and Summit County

 

Avalanche Problem

 
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Avalanche Character Aspect/Elevation Likelihood Size

What You Need to Know About These Avalanches


Wind Slab avalanches release naturally during wind events and can be triggered for up to a week after a wind event. They form in lee and cross-loaded terrain features. Avoid them by sticking to wind sheltered or wind scoured areas.

Avalanche Problem

 
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N
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Above Treeline
Near Treeline
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Avalanche Character Aspect/Elevation Likelihood Size

What You Need to Know About These Avalanches


Loose Wet avalanches occur when water is running through the snowpack, and release at or below the trigger point. Avoid very steep slopes and terrain traps such as cliffs, gullies, or tree wells. Exit avalanche terrain when you see pinwheels, roller balls, a slushy surface, or during rain-on-snow events.

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 Wed, Apr 1, 2020 at 4:43 AM by Mike Cooperstein Statewide Weather Forecast
  Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Temperature (ºF) 37 to 42 23 to 28 30 to 35
Wind Speed (mph) 8-18 G45 7 to 17 12-22 G55
Wind Direction W WSW SW
Sky Cover Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Mostly Cloudy
Snow (in) 0 0 0 to 2

Archived Forecasts

  • Select Forecast: Valid

Wed, Apr 1, 2020 at 7:35 AM
Issued by: Mike Cooperstein Statewide Weather Forecast  

We have seen a marked decrease in large avalanche activity over the past few days. Lingering wind slabs on higher elevation slopes are the main hazard in the Front Range and Vail and Summit County zones. Loose Wet avalanches are the main concern in the Steamboat and Flat Tops zone. Higher elevation slopes are still dry, cold, and wintery, but temperatures will be a few degrees warmer than on Tuesday, so expect wet snow at higher elevations as the strong spring sun warms the surface. As the day progresses and temperatures rise expect rollerballs and small wet avalanches in steep, thin, rocky terrain. Most of these avalanches will be relatively harmless, but if you find a spot with deeper cold snow, wet avalanches may grow large enough to knock you off your feet and send you for a dangerous ride. A cold front will move through Colorado on Thursday. Favored areas in the Flat Tops, Elkhead Mountains, Park Range, Northern 10 Mile Range, and Northern Front Range zone may pick up 6 to 8 inches of new snow throughout the day. Southwesterly winds will be strong enough to move the new snow to lee-facing aspects building thicker slabs. Watch for changing conditions on Thursday as the storm passes.   

--

If you are recreating, please do so responsibly. This includes following social distancing requirements, not taking actions that risk pulling emergency service workers away from the important work they’re doing, or compromising their ability to continue that work. Learn more about the CAIC’s work during the pandemic here.

Governor Polis issued a Statewide Stay-at-Home order on March 25, 2020 - Learn more here

Many of Colorado's counties have issued public health orders that affect travel and recreation. You can start your search for local information here. Here is some information for this zone: Routt CountyRio Blanco County, Moffat County, and  Eagle County

 



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Avalanche Observations
Report Date # Elevation Aspect Type Trigger SizeR SizeD
View Sun Mar 29 - >TL NE - N R1 D1.5

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Field Reports
Report Date Observer Snowpack Obs Avalanches Media
View Sun Mar 29 - No Yes (1) Yes (2)

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Weather Observations
Station Date Time Temperature Relative Humidity Wind Speed Wind Direction Max Gust 24 Hr Snow
A-basin Sa-summit Wed Apr 1 7:00 AM 21 68 24 222 33 -

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