As of Monday, Dec. 22
After the 50cm of new snow we received on the 16th, the weather has been relatively benign. Unseasonably warm temperatures on the 18th and 19th saw good settlement of the snowpack with snow becoming moist below treeline and on solar aspects in the alpine. The next day cooler temperatures tightened up the snowpack, leaving widely variable snow surfaces; from melt-freeze crusts to 10-15cm of low density snow in sheltered lee terrain. 5cm of light dry snow fell during this period. Shears in the upper snowpack went from easy to moderate or hard over the next few days.
The surface hoar layer from Dec. 10th is still being observed in sheltered areas at treeline and below. Shears on this layer are tightening, however they are still present. Be aware of any hollow-feeling snow surfaces and avoid terrain traps.
We are expecting another system to slowly push into the area tonight with significant snowfall and strong winds to persist over the next few days. Warm temperatures lead this system but it should cool off by mid-storm.
The Backcountry Avalanche Danger is rated at MODERATE. This will likely rise to HIGH through the forecast weather system.
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.