February 16, 2016


Front Range – Falls Creek, Rainbow Creek

Red flags (obvious signs of instability):

  • Numerous recent natural wet, loose avalanches coming from steep rocky terrain on solar aspects below 4000′


  • Mostly sunny with calm wind and temps in the 20s

Surface conditions:

  • Below 1500′: little to no snow, icy trail
  • 1500-2000′: melt-freeze crust (stout and mostly supportable)
  • 2000+’: variable dry winter snow where unaffected by solar radiation consisting primarily of supportable wind slab with dusting of fresh with deeper soft snow in sheltered areas


Handpits in several couloirs showed faceted layer(s) between wind slab(s) within upper 3′ of snowpack, but seemingly stale and exhibiting little reactivity.  Ski cuts on the upper SW face of South Suicide did not release any of the suspect wind loaded areas.

Down ihouse N Sam top FCTC IMG_4346