Mild temperatures on Sunday and Monday initiated a natural avalanche cycle with several cornice failures observed to have occurred in the backcountry once the skies cleared on Tuesday. The freezing levels fell again on Monday forming another melt-freeze crust, with the 10 cm of new snow that fell on Monday night now resting on this crust.
The solar effect was tempered somewhat yesterday and today by the Northerly flow that brought with it cooler temperatures and gusty winds. The extended outlook is forecasting the Northerly flow to possibly continue into the weekend bringing a mixed bag of sun and cloud, with showers or flurries possible at times in the Alpine.
As is usual at this time of year, the snow stability and associated avalanche danger levels may vary dramatically from morning to afternoon, and from one day to the next depending on the presence and integrity of the melt-freeze crust on the snow surface. Once the crust deteriorates, avoid travelling across or under what has then become mushy non-supportive slopes.
Large destructive cornice falls are an ever-present possibility at this time of year. Give them a wide berth from below as well as from above.
The backcountry avalanche danger is rated as LOW this morning, gradually increasing with exposure to the sun this afternoon.
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