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Backcountry advice

As of Wednesday, April 22


Alpine: Moderate through Friday

Treeline: Moderate through Friday

Below Treeline: Low through Friday

Travel Advisory: Cool temperatures and overcast skies should protect a widespread melt-freeze crust on Wednesday. Clear skies expected on Thursday will cause temperatures on solar exposed slopes to soar again, breaking down the crust and initiating more wet avalanche activity. Every time a significant weather event occurs, the snowpack responds with deep slab avalanche activity. This pattern will continue as long as the 2008-09 snowpack hangs around.

Avalanche Activity: The remnants of a widespread natural avalanche cycle that ran to size two was observed outside of the ski area on Monday. Cornices have become very weak, failing both naturally and with explosive testing on Monday. Wet point release avalanches are expected on solar exposed slopes. In the past several weeks there have been natural avalanches occurring periodically up to size three and four. The Dec. 6 weakness has definitely not gone away, and it will continue to produce large avalanches periodically throughout the spring season.

Snowpack: The snowpack has settled over 20 cm since Sunday, which is about 10 per cent of its total depth! Rain and warm temperatures have soaked the surface layers at all elevations and on all aspects. Cooler temperatures on Tuesday and Wednesday have started a crust recovery, but daytime warming will try to break this down. The persistent weak layers from December, February and March are all at or near their threshold.

Weather: Unsettled conditions today will allow the possibility of a flurry tonight with clearing forecast for Thursday and Friday.

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