An avalanche of “historic” proportions struck Aspen Highlands in Aspen, Colorado on March 9th, 2019. According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the slide ran down from the Highlands Ridge all the way to the valley below. The slide path was a mile wide and traveled 3,000 feet down the hill. They estimate that the slide took out “hundreds if not thousands of trees” and was so powerful that it traveled uphill several hundred feet on the opposite side of the creek, taking out even more trees.
Report From CAIC:
Avalanche Description: Highlands Ridge released naturally. Not a path or two off the ridge but everything from the Five Fingers to the K Chutes. The K Chutes ran as big as I’ve seen them go, and that was just a small portion. ALL of the Five Fingers Ran. While this is multiple start zones that feed multiple feeder paths, they all share a common runout. This all looks like it was one major event with the crown line connecting multiple paths and breaking a mile wide or more. The avalanche ran full path (3000 ft plus) taking out hundreds if not thousands of trees, and and damaged an unoccupied home near Conundrum Creek even though it was protected by defensive structures. The debris ran across the creek and and ran uphill several hundred vertical feet on the opposite side, taking out trees even on the uphill side across the creek. This avalanche terrain is predominantly east-facing, with some slopes facing southeast and some facing northeast. There was also a very large natural avalanche on a northwest facing slope in Maroon Bowl.