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Backcountry Advisory

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As of Wednesday, April 25

A strong south-westerly flow has brought us periods of precipitation and warm temperatures throughout the early part of the week. Maybe it’s payback time! Any new snow has been the high density variety – either falling moist or rapidly turning that way. As a result, widespread natural sluffing and snowballing have been occurring. We have also seen isolated skier-triggered moist slabs running on the underlying semi-hard surfaces. By the end of the week however, the forecast cooling temperatures should tighten up the snowpack and re-establish the stabilizing crusts.

Of note is a large natural avalanche that occurred in the Duffey Lake area early this week that went down to the November facet layer. We have not seen any activity on this layer in our vicinity since the third week in February. However, once we see the arrival of our annual spring avalanche cycle we may begin to see some isolated avalanches in the Whistler area stepping down to this weakness which has been lying dormant for some time now.

The long range models through the end of the weekend and into next week are forecasting more of a Westerly flow developing, putting the alpine terrain back into winter once again. If this forecast pans out, we may see periods of moderate snowfall and associated low freezing levels. There is very limited mention of sunshine.

As of April 25, the backcountry avalanche danger is rated as MODERATE. This may increase with continued warming and/or snowfall. Check for the most current conditions before you decide to head out.

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