January 1, 2016


Region: Front Range
Location: Flattop Mountain: avalanche across summer hiking trail


Avalanche details

Trigger Unknown Aspect West Elevation 3200ft
Slope Angle unknown Crown Depth unknown Width unknown
Length unknown

Observer Comments

Large and deep wind slab avalanche on the South side of Flattop. It was very wide and propagated across the entire bowl from above the Old Trail to above the New Trail. Debris ran across summer trail. Picture taken New Year’s day around sunrise.

Light was pretty flat this morning. It looked like the blocks were slightly covered with fresh, wind blown snow. Slide possibly occurred yesterday – speculation?

Red Flags

Obvious signs of instability

Recent Avalanches?  Yes Collapsing (Whoomphing)? No Cracking (Shooting cracks)? No


Temperature around 33F in Glen Alps at 8:00 a.m., blowing 30-40mph, with occasional calm spells on lower slopes. By 10:30 it was 37F back at the car.

Snow Characteristics

Snow surface

Soft snow on the leeward slopes on a hard surface.