Historic March 2019 Colorado Avalanche Cycle Explained

Historic March 2019 Colorado Avalanche Cycle Explained


Historic March 2019 Colorado Avalanche Cycle Explained


“It’s certainly nothing like we’ve ever seen. Anyone on staff was unanimous that we’ve never seen anything like this in our careers.” -CAIC Deputy Director Brian Lazar 

The 18th annual Colorado Snow and Avalanche Workshop convened in Breck last Friday and the focus was obviously on this past March’s historic avalanche cycle. The Summit Daily reports speakers gathered and took the podium to contextualize how and why this past March was an unprecedented year for snow and avalanches in Summit County and elsewhere in the state.

CAIC Deputy Director Brian Lazar began the conference by walking
through a chronology of what set last March up to be unprecedented. Early snowfall last October set the initial stage for the March cycle as deposited snowpack layers weren’t as weak as many other years. The subsequent snowfall until March created a relatively deep and strong snowpack across the state, which was already more than four meters in the deepest areas.

“And in these really deep snowpack areas, three to four meters on the ground, we weren’t worried about them at all unless we got a massive loading event. “…we did realize the potential for unlikely, very large persistent slab avalanches to occur. But, again, we thought we’d need something of epic proportions to get these things to break.”

The presentations were posted in full and can be viewed below:




images from FriendsofCAIC FB

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