January 6, 2016


Front Range: Peak 3-4 ridge

Red flags:

  • None observed


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

Surface Conditions:

  • Supportable and relatively smooth wind-packed snow (chalky, edge-able 1F hardness at the surface)


  • Widespread, heavily wind-affected snow:lower wind affect wind affect upper
  • Snowpit (crown profile from human triggered avalanche 1/4/16):p3-4 ridge crown profile 1:6:16 crown profile pit
  • ECT simultaneous failures, lower failure plane is presumably the one responsible for the 1/4/16 human triggered avalanche and close call:ECT simul fail
  • Views of the crown and path from the skier’s right flank:view from left flank view down path from left flank view from left flank wide
  • More views from near the center of the crown:view toward rock outcrop and inlet view path view path pano debris from top
  • Views looking up at the debris and path from the bottom with path sketched in (avalanche ran 1147′ from 4005′ to 2858′):debris from bottom path from trail
  • This is the largest avalanche in this zone (Canyon Road side Flattop to Flaketop) observed in the past six years of paying close attention.
  • The snowpack along the crown ranged from less than 80cm to 200cm.
  • Crown height was at least 100cm in some areas (it has filled back in some).
  • While the snowpack seems to have stabilized significantly since the avalanche was triggered, snowpit tests are still revealing some concerns (view the pit profile above).
  • The snowpack and stratigraphy is highly variable and complex, more so than documented in pit profile.