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backcountry advisory

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BACKCOUNTRY AVALANCHE ADVISORY As of Feb. 9, 2000 We have received 26 cm. of snow since Monday afternoon. Monday’s weather brought mtntop winds from the South-S-Easterly direction, gusting to 80km/h. More recently, the 13cm of light density snow which fell overnight was accompanied by Moderate winds initially from the Southeast, switching to the South and South-Westerly directions in the evening. In some areas above treeline, the old snow surface was hard — either a sun or a wind crust. The new snow does not appear to have initially bonded very well to it, and was reacting easily to the weight of a skier this morning. At higher elevations you can expect to find some windslabs of up to 40cm. in depth in some lee and cross-loaded terrain. Relatively mild temperatures in the alpine earlier in the week promoted rapid settlement within the surface layers of snow. The cooler temperatures which accompanied last night’s snowfall combined with the lack of any significant wind velocities leaving us with light density soft slabs resting on a variety of old snow surfaces. Below treeline there are an assortment of surface hoar layers buried in the snowpack. Some of these layers have been observed to be reactive to the weight of a skier in some isolated areas, particularly where the surface hoar grew very large. Some of the many cornices are looming large these days and are ripe for succumbing to the forces of gravity! At this time of year the sun is beginning to pack a bit more of a punch. The sunny periods which are forecasted during the next several days will likely affect the surface layers of the snowpack on Southerly aspects and cause them to begin to sluff naturally. If you decide to go for a tour, travel with caution. Let someone know your itinerary and expected date of return. Travel with a partner and be equipped and prepared for self-rescue. Ski-cut any chutes before you jump in. The backcountry avalanche danger is rated as Moderate Remember that conditions may vary and can change rapidly. Call the CAA Public Bulletin @ 1-800-667-1105 for more info, or locally call 938-7676.

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