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

Wed, Apr 1, 2020 at 7:06 AM
Issued by: Matt Huber

Today

 

Tomorrow

No Rating (-) Watch for signs of instability like recent avalanches, cracking, and audible collapsing. Avoid traveling on or under similar slopes.   No Rating (-) Watch for signs of instability like recent avalanches, cracking, and audible collapsing. Avoid traveling on or under similar slopes.
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
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    Considerable
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    Extreme

Summary

You are most likely to trigger an avalanche on steep, wind-drifted slopes near treeline, that face north through east and southeast. Winds drifted recent snow into dense slabs on top of weak layers that formed in mid-March on these slopes. Carefully evaluate steep, wind-loaded slopes before committing to them. Large cornices overhang many of these slopes in higher, wind exposed terrain. Stay well back from the edges as you approach ridgelines, and minimize riding on slopes below them.

With a marginal freeze overnight and warm temperatures expected again today, expect loose wet avalanche activity to increase through the day. Wet avalanche concerns begin to creep into shadier aspects below treeline and in to sunny slopes in the higher elevations, especially near rock outcrops and cliffs that warm quickly. Plan ahead to be clear of these slopes before they warm, and the snow feels wet and punchy.

 

 

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

 

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


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 24 to 29 32 to 37
Wind Speed (mph) 11 to 21 11 to 21 12-22 G50
Wind Direction SW SSW 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 7:21 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.


  • 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)
  • Cornice fall, triggering an avalanche in cliffy terrain. (full)
  • ECTP19 down 61 cms on 6 mm rounding depth hoar on a Northeast facing slope at 10600' on Grand Mesa. (full)

See more photos & videos

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    Extreme
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