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Backcountry Advisory

As of Wednesday, April 21


Another 7 cm of snow fell on Monday night, accompanied by gusty Southerly winds. Continued light accumulations of snowfall since last Friday have resulted in the development of some pockets of soft wind-slab of up to 40 cm. in depth by Tuesday morning. This is most noteable to the lee of any terrain features on northerly aspects. Below about the 1,800 metre elevation the fresh snow has been moistened by daily appearances of the sun, but it has remained winterlike in any shaded north-facing terrain in the alpine.

The snowpack below the treeline is isothermal and rapidly dissapearing on southerly aspects.

The forecast is calling for a break in the weather on Wednesday and Thursday, with another more organized system arriving on Friday.

Caution is is advised on any wind-loaded slopes once the cloud cover gives way to sunshine. In some areas there is now sufficient new snowfall resting above the melt-freeze crust to be of a concern once the sun’s rays moisten the new snow layers and sluffing begins to occurr.

Any overhanging cornices should be given a wide berth, as they are mature and may take little or no trigger to break off.

The avalanche danger is rated as MODERATE. This can be expected to increase on solar aspects with any prolonged sunny breaks.

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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