The Colorado Avalanche Information Center

 
 

About the CAIC

The CAIC is a cash-funded program of the Colorado Geological Survey under the directorship of the State Geologist Vince Matthews. Funding comes from donations, contributions, and the Severance Tax fund. If you would like to help support the CAIC, please visit our Supporters of the CAIC page.

The CAIC has 4 offices that issue backcountry avalanche forecasts. The main office is in Boulder, co-located with the National Weather Service. Field offices are located in Breckenridge, Aspen, and the Northern San Juan. Staff at CAIC-Boulder forecast the weather and avalanche conditions for all zones. Field office forecasters concentrate on the snowpack and avalanche conditions within their zones. The CAIC works closely with the Crested Butte Avalanche Center.

 

History

The CAIC began in 1973 as the Colorado Avalanche Warning Center. It is the oldest public avalanche forecast program in the United States. The Warning Center grew out of the US Forest Service’s avalanche research efforts. The US Forest Service dropped the program in 1983 due to budget cuts. That winter the CAIC found a home with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, and in 1987 the CAIC was placed into the administration of the Colorado Geological Survey. In 1993 the Colorado Department of Transportation contracted with the CAIC to forecast for many mountain roads. Our highway forecasters work closely with the Department of transportation to keep mountain highways open and travelers safe.

 

Purpose

The purpose of the CAIC is to minimize the economic and human impact of snow avalanches on recreation, tourism, commerce, industry and the citizens of Colorado. Since 1950 avalanches have killed more people in Colorado than any other natural hazard, and in the United States, Colorado accounts for one-third of all avalanche deaths. With a staff of 15 avalanche professionals, we achieve our purpose through a dual mission of forecasting and public education. Please contact us for additional information:


Colorado Avalanche Information Center
325 Broadway St. WS#1
Boulder, CO 80305
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303.499.9650
303.499.9618 (fax)