It is common in Colorado to see snowpack structure with prominent weak layers near the ground, but this year the weak layers are weaker and more pronounced than we typically see. This is the weakest snowpack we’ve seen in most mountain areas since 2012.
While current danger doesn’t fit High (Level 4 of 5) or Extreme (Level 5 of 5), we want to get the message across that the snowpack this year is dangerous.
Last week was the largest recorded spike in human-triggered avalanches in 10 years. Avalanches are mostly small, but easy to trigger. As we get more snow, avalanches are growing in size and the consequences of getting caught are more severe.
Although the avalanche conditions are not unprecedented, they are worse than many people are used to. People are using avalanche-safety strategies that have worked in recent years, but current conditions require additional caution.
Please share this video and help us get the word out!
– Colorado Avalanche Information Center
Learn more about dangerous early-season snowpacks in our podcast with the director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center Dr. Ethan Greene: