SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Although there has been an unseasonable lack of moisture in the mountains of Colorado, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center is still asking backcountry skiers and snowboarders to stay on their toes in the backcountry.
“We have the snow that came in October/November, and that has created this really weak base,” Ethan Greene, Director of CAIC said.
“Right now, it is not that big of a deal, enough to create small avalanches. As we get more snow on top of it, those will get larger.”
Most of Colorado is sitting at a “considerable” risk right now for an avalanche. That’s a 3 on a scale of 5, but the lack of snow content is actually helping some aspects of safety, according to Greene.
“The difference between last year and this year is last year that weak bottom layer of snow existed in many, many slopes around the state, all aspects really from tree line up,” Greene explained. “This year we have a lot of places especially in the southern mountains that the snow is going to be falling on bare ground. So the avalanche danger is likely not going to rise very much in those areas.”
Still the similarities between this year and last year have experts remaining cautious, and pushing reminders to anyone looking to head out to the back country for a ride.
“Last year did not bode well for us. We ended up seeing a record of human-triggered avalanches in December when we started getting snow on top of it,” Greene recalled. “We are not too different of a time of year that we have right now, and then unfortunately that produced the deadliest year for avalanches since the 90s.”
Stay up to date on CAIC’s conditions around the state.