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Backcountry Advice

AVALANCHE ADVISORY

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Forecast of Avalanche Danger as of Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2005

Alpine: MODERATE

Treeline: LOW

Below Treeline: Below threshold

Travel Advisory: At treeline and in the alpine terrain up to 3 0 cm of storm snow is now sitting on a variable crust that formed during last week’s unseasonably warm temperatures. Daily flurries have continued to accumulate throughout the week. Wind transported snow has also formed some isolated soft slabs above the 2,000 metre elevation. Be aware of early season hazards in the backcountry such as barely covered rocks and holes, as well as bergshrunds and crevasses.

Avalanche Activity : Moderate South East winds at the mountaintops on Monday night resulted in some soft slab development up to 10-20 cm in depth on some lee slopes. These wind slabs have been reported to be reactive to ski testing in some isolated areas. The previous storm snow layers have been settling in well for the most part and we have not seen much in the way of avalanche activity this week.

Snowpack : The storm snow is sitting on a variable temperature crust down about 10-30 cm in the snowpack. The crust may still be on the surface where the surface layers have been scoured off. In places this crust is paper-thin while in others it is much more substantial. Down about 60-90 cm a raincrust can be found that dates back to Nov. 10 when rain fell at times to at least the 2,200 metre elevation. This crust varies from 1 cm in thickness at 2,200 metres to 10 cm at 2,000 metres. Many start zones are still rocky and the snow is sugary around the rockbands. Pay particular attention to these rocky areas now as they could pose problems later in the season when they become buried by future snowfalls.

Weather : A cool unstable Northwesterly flow will bring cloud, sun, and periods of flurries throughout the weekend as the main energy of the next system heads to the south of our region.

Conditions may vary and can change rapidly. Check for the most current conditions before heading out into the backcountry. Daily updates for the areas adjacent to Whistler-Blackcomb are available at 604-938-7676, or at www.whistler-blackcomb.com/weather where there is also a link to the CAA public avalanche bulletin, or call 1-800-667-1105.

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