As of Wednesday, Dec. 27
Good skiing and above average coverage are what you will
see first when you head out over the next few days. Exposed areas have been
scoured by the winds that have accompanied all of the recent weather events,
while sheltered terrain is well loaded. What you probably won't see are the
numerous slab avalanches that have been occurring over the past week. These
slabs have been occurring in sheltered terrain and have been triggered low in
start zones, or after numerous tests have already indicated that the slope is
and ski testing on Tuesday produced variable results, with slabs not
immediately reactive. Size 1 and 2 slab avalanches have been triggered after
explosives have produced no result. Some start zones have released surface
instabilities that stepped down into old instabilities resulting in cumulative
crown depths approaching one metre. These slabs were running wide and far.
Expect these slab instabilities to persist in isolated steep lee start zones.
is extremely variable due to the strong winds that have accompanied the past
few snowfalls. As you get closer to treeline, the snow becomes less slabby but
you will still find some areas that have been stiffened by the wind. Be wary of
rocky terrain where a failure at a weak point on the slope could pull into the
fat part of the slab and produce a sizeable avalanche. There is almost 50cm of
storm snow that has easy shears within it.
A brief period
of high pressure is expected on Thursday and Friday followed by unsettled
conditions through the weekend and more organized weather early next week.
Remember that there are still many exposed early season hazards
so take it easy out there. Watch for winch cats and snowmobile traffic if you
re-enter the ski area after operating hours. Call 604-938-7676 or surf to
avalanche.ca or whistlerblackcomb.com for more information.
Blackcomb Snow Safety