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

Wed, Apr 1, 2020 at 6:41 AM
Issued by: Ben Pritchett

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.
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

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Summary

On steep slopes near and above treeline that face north through east to south-east, you can trigger a dry slab avalanche on weak layers of faceted snow. Once these avalanches are in motion, they may step down to trigger a deeper avalanche breaking on weak snow lower in the snowpack. Alternatively a large cornice chunk could serve as the necessary large trigger to get one of these deeper avalanches going. You can steer clear of recently drifted slopes, particularly those topped with cornices to decrease your chance of triggering one.

By the afternoon, many slopes at lower elevations and sunny slopes at higher elevations will become wet. Expect a natural loose avalanches to run from below cliffs or rocky outcrops. Monitor the depth of the wet snow and move away from steep terrain if you find yourself sinking more than about ankle deep.

 

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If you are recreating, please do so responsibly. This includes 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: Gunnison County 

 

Avalanche Problem

 
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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


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) 41 to 46 23 to 28 33 to 38
Wind Speed (mph) 8 to 18 10 to 20 16 to 26
Wind Direction WSW SW WSW
Sky Cover Partly Cloudy Mostly Cloudy Mostly Cloudy
Snow (in) 0 0 to 1 2 to 4

Archived Forecasts

  • Select Forecast: Valid

Wed, Apr 1, 2020 at 7:19 AM
Issued by: Ben Pritchett Statewide Weather Forecast  

The spring transition has restarted after a brief hiatus. With another warm day on tap Wednesday, which will be several degrees warmer than Tuesday, the wetting and the snow surface water factory will kick into production even earlier. Easterly-facing slopes with rocks showing may begin to shed loose avalanches by mid-morning. Track the sun around the compass and this same type of avalanche activity will spread to many slopes as the day goes on. Only northwest to north to northeast facing slopes near and above treeline will stay dry.

Cornices remain a significant concern, especially where they are rooted in shallow, rapidly warming snow. Many of these large cornices that grew in size last week face northeast to east to southeast. Their roots (the base of the cornice opposite the overhanging face) will bake in the mid-day sun, growing weaker as the day goes on. Some may fall naturally, but if you walk above them you could trigger a large cornice collapse, which might break much further back than you expect. Give cornices the respect they deserve, increasing the amount of space between you and them.

Last week's avalanche cycle that was triggered by large cornice chunks falling on steep unsupported slopes is still quite relevant. You might have a hard time triggering weak layers near the ground with just your body weight, but a cornice fall could be large enough to initiate a big, dangerous avalanche. An avalanche in motion could provide that trigger too. A spring transition day with rapidly warming temperatures is not the time to push into cliffy or very steep terrain. Consider the consequences of getting caught in an avalanche, including personal consequences to you, and to others.

--

 

If you are recreating, please do so responsibly. This includes 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: Gunnison County


  • Fresh Loose Wet and Wind Slab avalanches in the same general area, on Augusta and Mineral Point. 3/31/2020. (full)
  • A fresh glide avalanche adjacent to older glide cracks and other glide avalanches that ran in the mid-march warm-up. 3/31/2020. (full)
  • Fresh Loose Wet avalanches on easterly terrain. 3/31 (full)
  • Several large Loose Wet avalanches ran on the south side of the Anthracites by mid afternoon. This area had more fresh snow snow, so it produced relatively deeper loose avalanches. 3/31/2020. (full)
  • A large Loose Wet avalanche off the southeast side of East Beckwith Mountain. 3/31/2020. (full)
  • A fresh Wind Slab avalanche near Storm Pass. 3/31/2020. (full)

See more photos & videos

Five Day Trend

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Avalanche Observations
Report Date # Elevation Aspect Type Trigger SizeR SizeD
View Tue Mar 31 - TL S WL N R1 D2
View Tue Mar 31 - >TL E SS N R1 D2
View Tue Mar 31 - >TL E SS N R1 D1.5
View Tue Mar 31 - >TL S WL N R1 D2
View Tue Mar 31 - >TL SE WL N R1 D2
View Tue Mar 31 - >TL SE WL N R1 D2
View Tue Mar 31 - <TL E G N R1 D2
View Mon Mar 30 - TL SE - N R1 D1.5
View Mon Mar 30 - TL NE C AS / r R2 D2
View Mon Mar 30 - <TL S WL AS R1 D1.5

See All Avalanche Observations

Field Reports
Report Date Observer Snowpack Obs Avalanches Media
View Tue Mar 31 Evan Ross No No Yes (2)
View Tue Mar 31 Ben Pritchett No Yes (7) Yes (6)
View Tue Mar 31 Eric Murrow Yes (1) No Yes (7)
View Mon Mar 30 (Publice) Crested Butte Avalanche Center No No Yes (1)
View Mon Mar 30 Eric Murrow Yes (1) Yes (3) Yes (1)
View Mon Mar 30 (Public) Crested Butte Avalanche Center No Yes (1) Yes (2)
View Mon Mar 30 (Public) Crested Butte Avalanche Center No No No
View Mon Mar 30 Zach Kinler Yes (1) Yes (2) Yes (3)
View Sun Mar 29 Steve Banks No Yes (1) Yes (1)
View Sun Mar 29 Zach Kinler No No Yes (4)

See All Field Reports

Weather Observations
Station Date Time Temperature Relative Humidity Wind Speed Wind Direction Max Gust 24 Hr Snow
Elkton Wed Apr 1 7:00 AM 23 57 4 241 14 -
Taylor Park Wed Apr 1 6:57 AM 23 65 - - 6 -

See All Weather Observations