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Posts Tagged ‘CAIC’

Storms Start Rolling through the San Juans

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

“The deepest accumulations will be in the San Juan Mountains,” reads the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s forecast today. We’ll take that.

The last few weeks we’ve seen several feet of snow fall in our corner of the state and across Colorado. And while a weak system exits our region after last weekend’s storm, the next series of stronger Pacific storms will begin Sunday.

With all of this new load, still the snowpack remains very unstable. Avalanche danger is high and widely varying, precarious conditions exist. And sadly, Colorado had its fifth avalanche fatality in the side country of the Telluride Ski Area on Sunday.

According to CAIC, this recent storm “translates to an inch or more of water loaded onto a weak snowpack.” We’ll take that, too–into serious consideration.

Be safe out there.

San Juan Snowpack: Be Aware Out There

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Early season snow that evolved into a layer of large, weak faceted grains is lurking beneath the surface on nearly all aspects and elevations. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center states that while the new, upper snow layers from recent storms are gaining strength, those faceted layers beneath are not, making for a dangerous snowpack. So be on high alert in the winter backcountry and hone your avy skills with this quintessential case study, digging pits and studying snow crystals out of danger’s way.

Faceted grains are not our friends

Never taken an Avy I course? Now is the time. Matt Wade of Peak Mountain Guides is offering an Avy I hut-based trip at our Ridgway Hut, Feb. 23-26. The perfect winter classroom, and with this season’s snowpack, the perfect snow study.

CAIC hosts two fundraisers—support your avy info center!

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reported the Northern San Juan Mountains received anywhere from six to 16 inches in the past 48 hours. And it’s still snowing. Red Mountain Pass and Silverton were favored in this storm and control work on the pass produced nine avalanches, five hit the highway.

Current CAIC Danger Rose for the Northern San Juan Mountains

This information is invaluable to backcountry users and is made possible by careful observation by the CAIC. So show your support this week. CAIC is hosting two fundraisers for folks on either side of the Sneffels Range.

Tomorrow CAIC will be at Ouray Community Center and Friday at Telluride’s Sheridan Opera House. Art Burrows will present his book Fifty Classic Ski Descents documenting iconic ski mountaineering tours of North America. A silent auction will follow and libations will be served. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are $15 at the door.

Regional avy classes are filling fast

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
Digging a pit in the Silverton area.  Photo by Matt Lanning

Regional avy courses are filling fast—is yours booked? Check out Silverton Avalanche School, Southwest Adventure Guides and Peak Mountain Guides for Level I and II courses. Classes begin mid-December and run through the winter. Best to take a Level I or II, a backcountry ski  or rescue course early in the season so you can put your knowledge to the test. After avy school graduation, come stay with us for half price at one of our five Sneffels Range backcountry ski huts. A perfect classroom for avy observation, digging pits, studying snow crystals, and practicing safe ski touring protocol.