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Backcountry Advisory

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As of Wednesday, Jan 21

A very strong rain crust below 2,100 metres elevation is currently the dominant feature of the snowpack in our area. Ten to 20 centimetres of snow have accumulated over this crust since the weekend, and this is where all the action seems to be concentrated.

Cool temperatures have formed a steep temperature gradient in the snow above the Jan. 15 crust. This has resulted in the formation of facetted crystals in this thin, soft slab layer. Sun warming has added a further thin 2 cm crust over the soft slab layer on solar exposures.

Skiers have triggered some pockets of size one soft slab over the past few days, while sun warming has caused loose wet avalanches to run. These loose avalanches are able to run far on the hard Jan. 15 crust so consider your position on the slope. Natural cornice failures have also been observed.

The backcountry avalanche danger rating for Jan. 21 is MODERATE. Mild temperatures on Wednesday, along with the potential for some solar heating, could trigger further loose avalanche activity on solar exposures. Some weather later this week could deposit snow over the existing surface layers creating a slab hazard so stay up to date with the weather. Call 604-938-7676 or dial up www.avalanche.ca for the most recent information before heading out.

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