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Backcountry Advisory

As of Wednesday, Jan. 26

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Alpine: CONSIDERABLE

Treeline: MODERATE

Below Treeline: LOW

You can expect to encounter a predominantly moist snowpack with a weak surface crust and areas of new snow above 2100 metres. Widespread natural avalanche activity occurred during the periods of heavy rainfall. Explosive testing has resulted in limited results, although post control releases have been observed on a limited basis. Cornices appear to be very fragile and have been the trigger of size 2 avalanches in and outside the ski area boundary.

Twelve centimetres of snow have accumulated above 2,100 metres. This new snow was bonding to a surface crust that developed on Monday. Most of last week’s precipitation fell in the form of moist snow in the high alpine. The weak and faceted layers of snow that formed during the cold weather earlier this month remain easily recognizable even near treeline, although they are moist at most elevations. These moist facet layers are not as loose and weak as they have been, however, they are still producing easy shears in isolated tests. The surface crusts have been able to support foot penetration above 2,100 metres, but remain breakable at treeline. At treeline the snowpack is isothermal and weak, however, the snowpack has erroded to near its threshold in many areas and avalanches are only likely in isolated start zones. Below treeline most of the snowpack has melted away leaving many exposed trees and rock anchors.

Mild temperatures and periods of light precipitation are expected for a while yet.

Dial 604.938.7676 for a daily updated hazard advisory, or surf to www.avalanche.ca or www.whistlerblackcomb.com for more detailed information.

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