Image: October 24th avalanche on Independence Pass from CAIC
Colorado is off to an early Avalanche season with a number of October avalanches being triggered. The state has seen a fair amount of snowfall so far this October with more on the way.
Colorado Avalanche Report Information Center is reporting two October avalanches, one in Aspen and another in Vail.
Below is information on the October 23rd avalanche reported on Loveland Pass:
- Date: 2019/10/23
- Observer: Jason Konigsberg
- Organization: Forecaster, CAIC
- BC Zone: Vail & Summit County
- Area Description: Drove from Leadville to Peru Creek in Summit County and up and over Loveland Pass, back through the tunnel and back to Leadville. Obs are from the drive and short walk up Peru Creek.
- Ridgeline Wind Speed: 20-30 mph
- Wind Loading: Moderate
- Weather Description: Winds were calm below treeline but moderate to strong up high. Snow transport was generally light to moderate as most westerly slopes do not have much more snow to transport.
- Snowpack Description: A few quick hand pits on north slopes below treeline showed 12 to 24 cm of snow from recent storms sitting on the ground. No distinguishable layers or signs of faceting. A report from a forecaster working in Sisters paths near Loveland talked of localized cracking on north slopes on 1-2mm basal facets. Cracking and faceted layer was at about 11,500 feet which was several hundred feet higher than where I traveled.—Snow coverage is still really thin. The only slopes that could potentially produce small avalanches are wind-loaded slope near ridgetop or cross loaded gullies. East and southeast would be most suspect with the recent wind direction but I think you would have to get pretty high in elevation to find old snow layers near the ground on these aspects. Avalanche in these wind-drifted areas are possible though, even if they don’t fail at the ground.
- Avalanche Description: None observed. Report of 2- D1 avalanches in the Sisters on Tuesday from GazEx test firing.