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Backcountry Advisory

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As of Wednesday, Jan. 7

The winds over the past week have come from almost every direction, however, they have been primarily from the North. This has left many areas scoured and built a variable wind slab on traditionally windward South/West slopes. This wind slab varies from soft and thin to hard and up to 20 cm thick. It is sitting above cold, loose snow. This wind slab is expected to be reactive to the weight of a skier in specific terrain features like convex rolls.

On the 3rd , 4th and 5th the temperatures were very cold for us on the coast. Minus 25 degree temperatures have led to faceting in the upper snowpack, and to the growth of cavity hoar in shallow rocky terrain. This forecast rise in temperature and snowload could initiate a widespread avalanche cycle. Be aware that the alpine snowpack is still relatively thin. The 5 cm of snow that fell on the 6th is very reactive to ski cutting and is releasing naturally in steep terrain.

As always travel with a partner and be equipped and prepared for self-rescue.

As of Wednesday, Jan. 7 the backcountry avalanche danger is currently rated HIGH with the building storm.

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.

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