[cdt-l] Avalanche Danger in CO

Paul Magnanti pmags at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 7 20:35:50 CST 2007


Spring can sometimes be the WORSE time for avalanches. Hard crusty snow. Throw in a spring snowstorm. Unstable snow pack due to the freeze/thaw cycle. Volia! A recipe for danger.

Generally speaking, mid- June is about the earliest time you want to go through with less (that is not to say "no") avalanche danger.

Of course, the snow levels can be absurdly high even well into June. Generally speaking, late June is when the high country opens up. You may do doing a fair amount of postholing before then.

This graph is very instructive:
http://avalanche.state.co.us/NR/rdonlyres/AABC3A67-3566-4B74-A07A-BC810A818C8E/0/Slide3.JPG

Note the high amount of accident that happen in April. It still is fairly high in May and is even higher in June [1].


As mentioned, these conditions change from year to year.  


Hope this helps.
 

[1] I suspect it spikes a little bit in June because the snowpack is really unstable in the early part of the month. Plus there are more people out, pushing the envelope than say May. (Everyone knows May is too early! Let's do Cool Mountain in June!). That's just a guess, though.





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