Avalanche Warning: With the heaviest snowfall in nearly a decade, the U.S. Forest Service issued a voluntary evacuation for Mount Charleston's Kyle Canyon and Lee Canyon areas to to high avalanche danger. The last 12 days brought more than 80 inches of snowfall, the most 12-day accumulation of a 12-day period in 12 years. These recent snowfalls have resulted in a total depth of more than 94 inches. This is the worst winter we've experience since moving to Las Vegas.
(Fig. 02) Mt. Charleston Village
For those who have never visited the Mount Charleston area, most don't realize that there is a small unincorporated town with of roughly 300-400 homes near the top of Kyle Canyon. The town sits at an elevation of around 7,500 feet, several thousand feet below the summit of Mt. Charleston Peak, 11,916 feet. Click the picture in (Fig. 02) to enlarge it and you can better see some homes in this town that are surrounded by steep mountains and ridges. Even though many of the residents of the homes in Kyle Canyon are “part-time folks”, it is estimated that there are about 150 year-round residents living there. Even though the National Weather Service said no more snow is expected to fall in the upcoming days, the winds and warmth are moving in to the mountains this weekend. The U.S. Forest Service has indicated that the weight of the fresh powder, coupled with the area’s steep terrain, “could create spontaneous avalanches.” Still part of the Spring Mountains, the Mount Potosi Range (Fig. 03) is about 30 miles south of Mt Charleston. The Mt. Potosi Peak is at 8,517 feet. If you click on this picture to enlarge it you can see the radio/TV towers in the upper right corner of the image.