CAIC issues special avalanche advisory for mountains through Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend

Posted at 8:02 PM, Jan 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-11 19:32:39-05

BOULDER, Colo. — The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) has issued a special avalanche advisory for mountainous areas of the state through Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend.

The advisory began Wednesday afternoon and is in effect until 4:30 p.m. Monday. Most of the state is under considerable avalanche danger, according to the CAIC.

CAIC avalanche map 1-10-24

Colorado saw an "unusual period of low avalanche danger" in December and early January, according to CAIC. Because of a weak snow base, fresh snow has created extreme avalanche conditions since the top layers of snow are sitting on a very unstable base.

An Arctic cold front will move into the central Rockies on Thursday and bring much colder air and snow. The cold will remain through the weekend along with periods of snow. Heavy snow will fall in the mountains, especially along and north of I-70, where 18 to 30 inches will fall through Monday.

“The avalanche danger is going to be higher and avalanche conditions are going to be trickier this coming weekend than what we’ve seen in the last few weeks,” said CAIC Director Ethan Greene. “It’s been a dry winter in Colorado, and we’re all excited that we are finally getting some snow. This holiday weekend, a lot of people will be getting out and into the mountains, and there are lots of great, safe places to go. We want people to check the avalanche forecast and make a plan that keeps them off of the dangerous slopes.”

The CAIC said very dangerous avalanche conditions will develop in some regions, while the most dangerous conditions will develop in the middle of the weekend. Under these conditions, it will be "easy" to trigger an avalanche that's capable of burying someone.

Berthoud Pass avalanche_no injuries

Local News

More than 600 avalanches were reported in Colorado in December

Stephanie Butzer
3:10 PM, Jan 08, 2024

The CAIC said there have been fatal avalanches around MLK Weekend in four of the last 12 years.

Before you head into the mountains for snow activities, take the proper precautions:

  • Check the avalanche forecast before you go
  • Bring the proper gear, including an avalanche transceiver, a shovel, and a probe
  • Travel with partners
  • Make sure your trip is well-planned and suitable for the current conditions.
Colorado Department of Transportation_US 550 avalanche


Pitkin County 911 Center launches new system to locate those lost in backcountry

Russell Haythorn
9:24 AM, Jan 10, 2024

D7 follow up bar 2460x400FINAL.png
The Follow Up
What do you want Denver7 to follow up on? Is there a story, topic or issue you want us to revisit? Let us know with the contact form below.