• Backcountry Avalanche Forecast
  • Forecast Discussion

Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 5:30 AM
Issued by: CBAC

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

Our anticipated storm hammered the San Juans, but the swirling nature of a closed low pressure system did not produce favorable or sustained orographics around Crested Butte, leaving generally light accumulations across our forecast area.  At 6am, Irwin and CBMR are reporting 2-4”, upper Cement creek 6”, and Schofield Pass at 9”.  

With only light snow accumulations, our avalanche concerns in the backcountry today are relatively minor.  Backcountry travelers today should be prepared to manage surface instabilities in the form of shallow windslabs near and above treeline, and wet loose avalanches as the sun destabilizes last night’s new snow.  It will not take much sun to first create rollerballs on east facing terrain, quickly becoming larger, pushier wet loose avalanches with continued sun and warming temperatures from east to south to west facing slopes this afternoon. The deeper the snow in your area, the larger potential avalanche problems you may face.

If skiing avalanche terrain today, stay ahead of the sun for best, and safest, riding conditions.  Once that snow starts becoming gloppy and wet, move to shadier aspects.  Mind your sluff today, and avoid terrain traps (gullies, road cuts, lakes, cliffs) where even a small wet loose avalanche could pile up deeply or push you into unintended terrain. 

 

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
Problem Type Aspect/Elevation Likelihood Size

What You Need to Know About These Avalanches


Loose wet avalanches occur where water is running through the snowpack, and release at or below the trigger point. Avoid 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
Problem Type Aspect/Elevation Likelihood Size

What You Need to Know About These Avalanches


Wind slabs can take up to a week to stabilize. They are confined to lee and cross-loaded terrain features and can be avoided by sticking to sheltered or wind scoured areas.

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
Problem Type Aspect/Elevation Likelihood Size

What You Need to Know About These Avalanches


Loose wet avalanches occur where water is running through the snowpack, and release at or below the trigger point. Avoid 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.

Archived Forecasts

  • Select Forecast: Valid

Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 5:33 AM
Issued by: CBAC  

Skunk town!  This new snow is a minor load that will not make significant changes to the overall avalanche picture.  Aside from wet loose avalanches running on old snow surfaces, and windslabs up to 2 feet deep near ridgelines and cross loaded gullies, managing our avalanche problems in the backcountry today will be relatively straight forward.

Do not underestimate the power of the sun when committing to objectives today.  Strong March sun, combined with old, dusty surfaces will heat slopes quickly today, even if temperatures still feel chilly.  

The deepest avalanche encountered today will be fresh windslabs created by 3-10” new snow, blown efficiently by northwest wind overnight.  Expect to find tender cornices and pillowy windslabs that may grow more sensitive with daytime heating.  

Keep good communication with your partners and do not hesitate to pull the plug if conditions do not line up.  

 

Reported by Ian Havlick

Five Day Trend

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Today

Tomorrow

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