The Avalanche Danger is expected to increase at all
elevations on Friday and Saturday
: 14 cm of light density
snow fell on Monday night and Tuesday morning. The snowfall was accompanied by
moderate winds at the mountaintops from the Southerly direction. The new snow
layers are resting on a variety of old surface features ranging from hard
wind-affected surfaces, to stiff windslab, to settled storm snow.
Widespread skier-triggered soft slabs and loose
sluffs were observed on Tuesday morning on any steep slopes in the Alpine.
Although this type of activity is generally harmless, given a long enough slope
enough snow could be entrained to get a skier into big trouble in any exposed
terrain. Cornices have grown substantially with the strong winds during the
past week and they are very fragile. Natural cornice fall early this week has
left debris chunks the size of vehicles in some north facing bowls in the near
country. Explosive testing on Sunday and Monday has also produced large cornice
releases with truck-sized chunks hitting the slopes below. These cornice chunks
have been a good test for the underlying slopes and we have seen little in the
way of slab activity.
: We received close to 100 cm of
snow during the past week. The snow arrived in waves associated with warming
temperatures and extreme winds. Surface hoar has been forming overnight since
Thursday. It is particularly significant at treeline and below treeline. Below
the most recent storm snow layers there is a layer of surface hoar that was
most evident at and below treeline elevations. This layer could prove to be a
future problem once loaded by additional snowfall. Buried faceted crystals
caused by a strong temperature gradient in the upper snowpack could also show
up with future loading. Thrown into this potpourri is a new layer of surface
hoar that formed last night.
: Mixed conditions are expected to
prevail for the next few days as a cool Northwesterly flow enters our region
bringing a mix of sun and cloud and periods of light snowfall. A more
consolidated Westerly flow is expected to arrive on Friday and Saturday, with
the main energy currently appearing to be to the north of our region. There is
little in the way of consensus in the various long-range models for next week,
so anything that you read should be ingested with a grain of salt.
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
– Whistler Mtn. Snow Safety