April 13, 2017


Front Range:


Rabbit Creek, North Suicide, Death Lake (between N Suicide and Homicide), Death Pass (North Suicide – South Powerline Peak), Rabbit Creek

Obvious signs of instability (red flags):

  • Recent wet loose avalanches up to D2 in size (typically starting from steep, rocky terrain) on E to W aspects
  • Rock fall (triggered by warming) by late afternoon
  • Unsupportable, isothermal snow by late afternoon in some areas on E to W aspects (especially thin, rocky, and vegetated areas that were heavily faceted)
  • Apparent D2(?) persistent slab avalanche W Penguin ~3000′ (first observed 4/8/17 – at rollover climbing into upper alpine bowl)


  • Sunny with calm wind and alpine temps from the mid 40s to lower 30s

Surface conditions:

  • Wet snow from trailhead to ~2750′ in valley
  • Moist snow becoming drier with elevation gain above ~2750′ (all but northerly aspects wet to moist)
  • Variable northerly aspects: high quality spring powder (sheltered terrain features), sastrugi, icy bed surface, rime, very firm windboard
  • Quality supportable corn on solar aspects (E to W) with correct timing
  • Isothermal snow on E to West aspects where the snowpack is thin and/or previously heavily faceted