Southern Colorado Avalanche Report & Forecast

The backcountry steeps of the South San Juan Mountains surrounding Durango are ideal for avalanches. Anyone heading into the backcountry around Durango should understand the risks, and be well educated in Avalanche safety. You should have the proper gear and training to not only survive an avalanche, but hopefully avoid getting caught in an avalanche in the first place.

If you don’t fall into the ‘ready’ category, you can still enjoy our local ski resorts, sledding hills or some gentle cross country skiing or snowshoeing.

The following Durango Avalanche report is published daily by the awesome folks at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center where you can find a full report for Southern Colorado, as well as the other avalanche zones of Colorado.

Wed, Jan 27, 2021 at 7:06 AM
Issued by: Chris Bilbrey

Wednesday

 

Thursday

Considerable (3) Dangerous avalanche conditions. Cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.   Considerable (3) Dangerous avalanche conditions. Cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.
Considerable (3) Dangerous avalanche conditions. Cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.   Considerable (3) Dangerous avalanche conditions. Cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.
Considerable (3) Dangerous avalanche conditions. Cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.   Considerable (3) Dangerous avalanche conditions. Cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.
  Danger Scale

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

Summary

Snowfall over the past 5 days formed dangerous slabs 3 to 4 feet thick above a weak snowpack. You can trigger a large and potentially deadly avalanche on all aspects and at all elevations today. Riders have triggered slides breaking within the storm snow, some stepping down into older, weak snow and some failed naturally. If you trigger an avalanche in a deep, wind-drifted pocket, it has potential to break wider than expected and propagate across terrain features. Look for lens-shaped pillows below ridge tops and in cross-loaded terrain to identify deeper drifts and pay attention to quick changes in surface hardness.

Avalanches below treeline may not propagate wide, but they can break just as deep and be just as dangerous if they push you over a cliff or stuff you in a terrain trap. Heed the warning signs of unstable snow like surface cracks and audible collapses. Surface slabs may be deceptively soft and powder-like, but riders have triggered slides below steeper slopes and from a distance. Avoid traveling on or below steeper terrain and sticking to lower-angled slopes without overhead hazard provide safer riding conditions.

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Please remember to recreate responsibly, including following state and local public health orders and social distancing recommendations.

 

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


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


Wind Slab avalanches release naturally during wind events and can be triggered for up to a week after a wind event. They form in lee and cross-loaded terrain features. Avoid them by sticking to wind sheltered or wind scoured areas.

Weather Forecast for 11,000ft Issued Wed, Jan 27, 2021 at 12:29 PM by Jason Konigsberg Statewide Weather Forecast
  Wednesday Night Thursday Thursday Night
Temperature (ºF) 10 to 15 30 to 35 16 to 21
Wind Speed (mph) 7 to 17 7 to 17 9 to 19
Wind Direction WSW SW SW
Sky Cover Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy
Snow (in) 0 0 0

Archived Forecasts

  • Select Forecast: Valid

 

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