FRISCO — An incoming winter storm has prompted the Colorado Avalanche Information Center to issue an avalanche watch for most of the Colorado Mountains, with the exception of the southern San Juans and the Sangre de Cristos.
In it’s 11th year, the popular A-Basin event morphs into a two-day rescue clinic; proceeds benefit the CAIC
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — The two most recent avalanche deaths in Colorado show the continued need for avalanche education and rescue training in the state that historically tallies the majority of accidents each season.
Both deaths occurred in remote areas, where the skiers had to rely on their own rescue skills to try and recover buried victims. In those situations, speedy location, recovery and timely first-aid can make the difference between life and death.
Zone forecasts end, statewide forecasts issued three times per week
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has switched to a spring forecasting mode, ending zone-specific updates in favor of a statewide forecast emphasizing overall spring avalanche awareness.
The CAIC will continue to issue weather forecasts twice a day, through April 30, with statewide avalanche statements Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday, by 5 p.m. through the end of April and into May if conditions warrant.
SUMMIT COUNTY — With anywhere from 5 to 9 inches of new snow piling atop a tender snowpack riddled with slabs, crusts and faceted crystals, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued an avalanche warning for the North San Juans.
Natural avalanches are likely Sunday night into Monday morning, and backcountry travelers will face hazardous conditions in many areas. Backcountry skiers Saturday triggered a slide remotely south of Telluride. According to the CAIC, the group was below treeline on low angle terrain, where they collapsed a small slope which propogated nearly 1,000 feet away to trigger a slide that was 400 feet wide and ran 400 vertical feet.
Several other slides were reported from the San Juans. Check out the CAIC website for more details. Up to 16 inches of snow could fall in the San Juans before the storm tapers off Monday morning, and with strong southwest winds, big and dangerous slabs will build up on leeward slopes near and above treeline.
“Triggering a storm slab or wind slab will stress the underlying weak snowpack increasing the likelihood of a larger and destructive avalanche,” the CAIC forecasters wrote in the warning.
Snow started falling in the northwest mountains Sunday afternoon, where accumulations will not be as great as in the San Juans. The storm will start to move east Monday, with drying skies and continued mild temperatures before another round of snowfall kicks in for the northern mountains Tuesday night.
Current danger is rated moderate, with a chance of triggered slides
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Forecasters with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center started daily zone forecasts and bulletins this week by warning of the dangers of a classic early season snowpack that, near treelike, is marked by stiff layers of windslab resting gingerly atop a weak base on non-cohesive faceted grains. Find your zone here.
For social media users, the CAIC is also posting updates on Twitter from the various zones around the state. The Twitter directory is online here.