When a federal meteorological organization is telling you to stay out of the Colorado backcountry, you stay the hell out of the Colorado backcountry.
Following loads of new snow on the higher peaks and rain on the lower elevations, avalanche danger continues to spike in Colorado with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center issuing an avalanche warning for most of the state.
“Very scary conditions out there right now. Avalanche Warnings are in effect for much of the state, as avalanche danger is HIGH” – Friends of CAIC
In conjunction with that warning, NOAA has also issued an avalanche warning for most of the mountainous regions of Colorado. Stay safe out there people!
Avalanche Warning (CAIC)
An Avalanche Warning is in effect for the Steamboat and Flat Tops, Sawatch, Aspen, Gunnison, Grand Mesa, Front Range, Vail-Summit, North San Juan, and South San Juan forecast zones. A powerful winter storm has brought heavy snow and strong, westerly winds to the mountains. Avalanche danger is currently HIGH. Natural avalanches large enough to bury or kill a person are very likely Tuesday. The avalanche hazard remains elevated with additional snow and continued strong winds into at least Wednesday. Numerous avalanches have already closed some mountain highways. Travel in or below avalanche terrain is not recommended during this warning period.
Avalanche Warning (NOAA)
AVALANCHE WARNING IN EFFECT FOR ALL OF THE COLORADO MOUNTAINS. ISSUED BY THE COLORADO AVALANCHE INFORMATION CENTER.
A POTENT WINTER STORM HAS INCREASED THE AVALANCHE HAZARD TUESDAY. VERY DANGEROUS AVALANCHE CONDITIONS CURRENTLY EXIST AND WILL CONTINUE INTO WEDNESDAY.
TRAVEL IN THE BACKCOUNTRY IS NOT RECOMMENDED DURING THE WARNING PERIOD.
* TIMING…BEGAN AT 06:30 AM ON 01/09/2017…EXPIRES AT 06:00 PM MST ON 01/11/2017 UNLESS CONDITIONS REQUIRE A LONGER PERIOD
* AFFECTED AREAS…THIS WARNING INCLUDES THE NORTHERN, CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MOUNTAINS…THIS INCLUDES…THE PARK RANGE…ELK HEAD MOUNTAINS…FLAT TOPS MOUNTAINS… FRONT RANGE… TEN MILE… GORE… SAWATCH… MOSQUITO RANGE… GRAND MESA… THE RUBY RANGE…ELK MOUNTAINS SOUTH OF THE DIVIDE… WEST ELK MOUNTAINS AND BOTH THE NORTH AND SOUTH SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS.
* AVALANCHE DANGER…WILL BE HIGH (LEVEL 4) AT MULTIPLE ELEVATION BANDS
* REASON…A STRONG WINTER STORM AND STRONG WINDS ADDED A LARGE AMOUNT OF SNOW OVER WEAK LAYERS IN THE SNOWPACK.
* PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…AVALANCHE CONDITIONS REMAIN VERY DANGEROUS. HUMAN TRIGGERED AVALANCHES ARE VERY LIKELY. BACKCOUNTRY TRAVEL IS NOT RECOMMENDED.
Find avalanche advisories here: Colorado Avalanche Information Center