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Backcountry Advisory

As of Wednesday, Jan. 12

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Alpine: CONSIDERABLE

Treeline: CONSIDERABLE

Below Treeline: MODERATE

Travel Advisory: A thin, variable layer of cold, wind-transported snow has been deposited over variable windslab that is most prevalent on SW aspects. The Dec. 19 rain crust, down about 50 cm in many areas, is also still lurking on the surface at many ridgelines and on wind exposed slopes.

Avalanche Activity: The surface windslabs are reacting easily to stability tests and skiers. These slabs are isolated to certain terrain features. In steep terrain the loose surface snow is sluffing easily.

Snowpack: Cold temperatures have weakened the various layers of snow from the surface down to and including the Dec. 19 rain crust at about 50 cm. Facetting of all the layers from the surface to just below the Dec. 19 crust will continue to weaken the snowpack. Very easy shears have been observed below the surface windslab. In some areas the Dec. 19 crust has been disintegrating, no longer carrying the weight of a skier on foot (foot pen). The cold clear days have also been forming a new layer of surface hoar that is up to 10 mm in size, most notably at treeline and below. This weak combination of layers in the upper snowpack is just waiting for a load of new snow that will likely result in a significant avalanche cycle.

Weather: More cold temperatures are expected for the next few days.

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