March 19, 2017


Front Range: North Fork Campbell Creek & Snowhawk valleys:

Obvious signs of instability (red flags):

  • None observed


  • Partly cloudy skies with calm wind and alpine temps in the lower 20s to upper teens

Surface conditions:

  • Variable, wind affected snow: breakable and supportable windboard mixed in with carve-able, wind buffed, recycled (faceted) powder.  Upper elevation north aspects were generally firm, supportable, and chalky or slide-for-life


The snowpack is very “stale.”  Basal weak layers (depth hoar and advanced facets) are very widespread, but generally proving to be unreactive.  Isolated pockets of preserved buried surface hoar from well over a month ago may still exist, but are generally proving to be unreactive.  Primary concerns will be when new snow is deposited on the existing very weak (faceted) or slick (sun crust) surface.  Especially concerning are areas where a thin layer of heavily faceted surface snow overlies a firm, hard wind slab.  Expect avalanche danger to increase significantly with any significant accumulation of new snow.