Can destroy part or all of a village

Credit: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Historic avalanches can destroy a railway car, a large truck, several buildings, a substantial amount of forest, or can gouge the landscape. These are the largest avalanches.  A typical D4 avalanche would fill a football field with more than 15 feet of debris (~10,000 tons of snow) and run over a mile.  A typical D5 avalanche would fill 5 football fields with more than 25 feet of snow (~100,000 tons of snow) and run almost two miles.  

This historic (D4) avalanche expanded its runout into mature trees and destroyed numerous vehicles. Credit: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

The crown line of this historic (D4) avalanche spans multiple starting zones. Credit: Crested Butte Avalanche Center

Swaths of mature forest were destroyed by this historic (D4) avalanche that ran nearly 5,000 vertical feet. Credit: Flathead Avalanche Center

The runout of a historic-sized avalanche that originated from an alpine start zone almost two miles away. Credit: Flathead Avalanche Center