A rider triggered an avalanche near Berthoud Pass, CO (near Winter Park Resort) on Sunday, November 15 on a north-facing slope, warns the CAIC on Facebook. The avalanche broke above the rider but he was able to ride off of the slab.
The avalanche danger is rated LOW (1of5) statewide today. This is the lowest rating on the exponential scale; however, we want to reiterate that LOW doesn’t necessarily mean “green light” conditions. Where there is enough snow to ride down a slope there are still isolated places where the snow structure is poor with faceted grains lurking below wind-drifted slabs. These photos illustrate this point. The rider intended to stick to low angled terrain, but descent options were limited due to shallow snow and he had to opt for a steeper line where there was better coverage.
Thanks for sharing your avalanche and snowpack observations!
2 thoughts on “Rider Triggered Avalanche on Berthoud Pass, CO | CAIC Warns ‘Low Danger Rating’ Doesn’t Mean ‘Green Light Conditions’”
Scary to think that winter hasn’t even started, thus Avalanche season hasn’t started. Be careful out there, know before you go and be ready for the unpredictable. Just because avalanche has started, it doesn’t mean you can’t get a avalanche to go.
“winter hasn’t even started, thus Avalanche season hasn’t started.” Here’s your first problem. If there is enough snow to ski, there is enough snow to avalanche. Avalanche season is whenever you can ski.