Avalanche Center forecasts backcountry danger as considerable this weekend | SummitDaily.com

Avalanche Center forecasts backcountry danger as considerable this weekend

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reported considerable avalanche danger above and near tree line in the Vail and Summit County zone Friday with the same forecast for Saturday.

The considerable rating is a 3 on the center’s 1-5 scale, and forecasters described the conditions as “dangerous” and said “cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making is essential.”

Below tree line, the center reported a moderate rating of 2 out of 5, which forecasters described as “heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features.” Even below tree line, the center said backcountry users should evaluate snow and terrain carefully.

The center said slides will break deep and be hard to escape. Backcountry users should avoid traveling on slopes steeper than about 30 degrees, as thick slabs capping weak snow layers from earlier in the season can break wide and run long distances.

The center said avalanches are most likely to be triggered from a thinner part of the snowpack around rocks or steep break-overs. The report said wind-drifted slopes at higher elevations are the most worrisome but cautioned not to discount steep, open slopes below tree line.

The Friends of CAIC is offering its Colorado Backcountry Avalanche Workshop on demand. To register and watch the recording via Zoom, visit Bit.ly/COBAW.

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