This avalanche was triggered by a skier on Sunday morning (11/25/18). This slope is the southeast-facing slope of Mt Emmons near Crested Butte. | Photo (+Cover): CAIC

A skier is lucky to be alive after triggering a large slide off Mt Emmons near Crested Butte on Sunday reports the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

The slide occurred on a southeastern facing slope and is being classified as a D2 avalanche. Visible in the photo are a number of tracks next to the slide along with a remotely triggered slab to the looker’s right.

From looking at the face post-ski, it seems as though the skiers in question would have benefited from choosing a different aspect and slope angle to ski.

Avalanche Details:

  • Trigger: AS
  • Aspect: SE
  • Rating: R2, D2

Avalanche Bulletin [Gunnison]

Avalanche conditions remain dangerous. Avoid travel on and under steep northerly and easterly-facing slopes today. You can trigger large dangerous avalanches that break on weak, faceted, crystals in the layer just below the most recent storm snow or at the ground. You can trigger avalanches from a distance or from the bottom of the slope. You are most likely to trigger larger more dangerous avalanches on slopes where stiff northwesterly and westerly winds deposited the most recent snow into thicker slabs.

You can find these thicker slabs just below ridgelines or on the walls of crossloaded gullies. If you trigger an avalanche today it will be very difficult to escape and could be large enough to bury or kill you. It is a nice day in the mountains, do not let the excitement of fresh powder pull you into avalanche terrain without very careful thought. It takes a while after a storm for the avalanche danger to moderate. You can always lessen your risk from dangerous avalanches by sticking to lower angle terrain that is not under steeper slopes.

The Friends of CAIC are hosting the 11th Annual CAIC Benefit Bash on Dec. 1, 2018 at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge. We hope you will join and support us in our mission of avalanche forecasting and education. For more information and to purchase tickets visit: 

Find up-to-date Colorado avy forecasts here: Colorado Avalanche Information Center 

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