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Backcountry Advisory

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Radiant cooling overnight has continued to provide us with a crust recovery in the alpine areas in spite of overnight lows of only +4.0 ° during the past few nights. As the temperatures continued their upward spiral during the past several days, only shaded slopes on north aspects have managed to escape the effects of the sun.

Numerous moist and wet size 1.0 solar induced avalanches have been running during this period. A few skier-triggered wet poopers have been observed as well. Large overhanging cornice lines have also begun to soften. As they slowly succumb to the forces of gravity, the potential for them to fall will increase. Some of these behemoths have the potential to trigger a deep slab release on the underlying slopes that may result in large destructive avalanches in some isolated areas.

This activity is expected to come to a grinding halt on Thursday with the arrival of the first in a series of weak disturbances imbedded in a cool unstable Northwesterly Flow. As temperatures continue to plummet when the cold front arrives, the snowpack in the Alpine will become quite glacial as the cold temperatures permeate the isothermal surface layers of snow. This pattern is currently forecasted to continue until at least the beginning of next week. The winter that would never end??

We can expect the snow stability to fluctuate wildly throughout these periods of spring melt-freeze cycles and late season Northwesterly flows that bring periods of snow accumulation in the Alpine.

The backcountry avalanche danger is rated as LOW this morning. This will increase throughout the day with warming and solar effects.

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 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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