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, May 1, 2019 at 6:31 AM
Issued by: Brian Lazar

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.  Considerable (3) Dangerous avalanche conditions. Cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.
Moderate (2) Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully.  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

You can trigger an avalanche large enough to bury you today. The South San Juan zone received 15 to 18 inches of new snow in the last couple days. You can trigger slabs in the storm snow up to 3 feet deep, and there are sensitive cornices along ridgelines. Slabs are thickest, stiffest, and most dangerous on north to east to southeast facing slopes that are received the most wind-drifted snow. Look for cracking in the new snow as a sign of slab formation. Safer riding options exist on slopes less than about 35 degrees. 

The storm snow could start to shed off the old surface as temperatures warm this afternoon. Look for wet cohesionless snow at lower elevations. Roller balls, and slushy surface conditions more than about 6 inches deep are signs that wet avalanche activity is imminent.   This concern will increase the avalanche danger on Thursday with warmer temperatures and more sunshine. 

This is the last zone forecast of the 2018-19 season. We will issue daily regional forecasts by 3:00 PM through May 31

 

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


Storm Slab avalanches release naturally during snow storms and can be triggered for a few days after a storm. They often release at or below the trigger point. They exist throughout the terrain. Avoid them by waiting for the storm snow to stabilize.

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


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.

Weather Forecast for 11,000ft Issued Wed, May 1, 2019 at 4:01 AM by Brian Lazar Statewide Weather Forecast
 WednesdayWednesday NightThursday
Temperature (ºF)32 to 3720 to 2537 to 42
Wind Speed (mph)12 to 225 to 1510 to 20
Wind DirectionSWSWSW
Sky CoverMostly CloudyPartly CloudyPartly Cloudy
Snow (in)0 to 200

Archived Forecasts

  • Select Forecast: Valid

You can also listen to avalanche forecast recordings from CAIC using the player in the sidebar to the right.

%d bloggers like this: