Colorado Avalanche Information Center: 'Very dangerous avalanche conditions'


Colorado Avalanche Information Center

An Avalanche Watch is in effect from Tuesday night through Thursday afternoon. Expect very dangerous avalanche conditions. Heavy snowfall and strong winds will produce natural avalanches, and human-triggered avalanches will be very likely. Avoid backcountry avalanche terrain during this time.

For Tuesday, ongoing snowfall and wind will continue to create dangerous avalanche conditions and increasing hazard as the day progresses. You can trigger an avalanche anywhere you find about ten inches or more of new or drifted storm snow. You can also trigger a larger, more dangerous avalanche which breaks on weak layers buried about two to four feet below the storm snow, and avalanches which you trigger in a surface 

You can trigger an avalanche in the storm snow, and some avalanches may break several feet deep on buried weak layers.

A pair of recent accidents highlight the consequence of triggering a deep avalanche. On Friday, three backcountry skiers triggered and were caught in a large avalanche near Marble on an easterly-facing slope. Sadly one died. You can read the preliminary report here. Sunday afternoon another skier died in an accident in Maroon Bowl, on a northerly-facing slope near Aspen Highlands. You can read this preliminary report here.