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Backcountry Advisory


As of Wednesday, Feb. 11

We received 30 cm of new snow last Friday and Saturday, accompanied by strong Southeasterly winds. Widespread natural, explosive, and human-triggered avalanche activity occurred during and after the snowfall. Some pockets of windslab were observed of up to 75 cm in depth. A few of these releases were observed to have stepped down to a weak layer resting above the Jan. 15 th rain crust.

The storm snow layers have since continued to settle and gain strength. We have not observed any avalanche activity within them since Sunday. Sunny skies and mild temperatures have dominated the weather during the past several days, resulting in loose naturally triggered avalanche activity on the various solar exposed aspects during the day, with radiant overnight cooling forming a crust at night. Any isothermal surface instabilities can be expected to persist until the end of the week, after which we are currently forecasted to be in a cooler moist and unstable Westerly flow.

Shaded North-facing slopes have been relatively unaffected by the mild weather, and remain quite winter-like. Several moderate shears have been observed to persist in some areas within the storm snow interface, as well as on a number of buried surface hoar layers and rain crusts.

Cornices have grown significantly during the past few storm cycles. Aside from the obvious hazards a large cornice failure may pose to backcountry enthusiasts, their impact on any underlying slopes could possibly trigger a deep slab release in some isolated areas.

As of Wednesday Feb. 11, the Avalanche Danger in the areas adjoining the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Area is rated as MODERATE , increasing throughout the day with exposure to the sun.

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 where there is also a link to the CAA public avalanche bulletin, or call 1-800-667-1105.

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