The New Year has brought us 100cm of snowfall.
Unfortunately yesterday’s storm was accompanied by mountaintop winds at times
averaging 100 and gusting to 150 km/h from the Southeast and Southerly
directions. Freezing levels spiked during the day leaving us with a melt-freeze
crust buried beneath last night’s snowfall that is making for rather
challenging ski conditions today. In some wind exposed areas this crust lays
exposed on the surface.
Stability testing this morning produced some soft
slab avalanches with crown lines varying from 10-50 cm in depth, with reports
of a few pockets to 100 cm in depth. A widespread natural avalanche cycle
occurred at all elevations yesterday varying from size 1.0 to size 3.0 with
crown lines up to a metre in depth. Overnight cooling has tightened in the
storm snow layers with no natural avalanche activity observed this morning.
Generally moderate shears were
observed this morning within the upper layers of the storm snow. Caution is
advised as a surface slab in motion has the potential to trigger a deeper
release in some unsupported wind loaded slopes in the high alpine.
A weak ridge of high pressure will bring us a mix of sun and cloud
today. Another series of systems is expected arrive in our region on Friday and
continue at least through the weekend and possibly into the early part of next
week. Freezing levels are expected to remain at or near the valley bottom.
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
Whistler Mtn. Snow Safety