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Backcountry Advisory

As of Wednesday, Feb. 14

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Alpine: MODERATE

Treeline: LOW

Below Treeline: LOW

The avalanche danger will increase with the arrival of today’s system bringing steady snowfall and increasing winds.

Travel Advisory : Periods of snowfall during the past week has resulted in up to 30cm of accumulation on the Feb. 5 melt-freeze crust, which lies exposed on the surface on any wind exposed ridge-tops in the high alpine.

Avalanche Activity: Stability testing earlier in the week produced up to size 1.5 soft slab avalanches from 10-25 cm in depth that were propagating easily both on the underlying crust, as well as within the storm snow layers themselves. The new cornice tabs are quite sensitive, and some large cornice failures have also been observed periodically over the past few weeks throughout the backcountry areas.

Snowpack : Moderate shears can be found at a density change midway through the storm snow. The new snow for the most part seemed to be reactive at the underlying crust interface. The new snow layers have continued to settle and gain strength over the past several days. However there were still reports of isolated pockets of soft slab in some isolated north-facing terrain features in the high alpine that remained reactive to a skier or rider trigger yesterday. Depth hoar that formed around rocky shallow areas above tree line during our last cold spell has been observed to persist. Keep in mind that these features could become weaknesses with further snow loading.

Weather : The system that began to arrive onshore this morning will bring flurries, becoming steady snowfall throughout the day before it tapers off to flurries again overnight. Another juicier system is hot on its heels for Thursday, with yet another one forecast to arrive on Saturday. Sunny breaks are in the mix for Friday in between these two systems.

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 surf to www.whistler-blackcomb.com/weather where there is also a link to the CAA public avalanche bulletin, or call 1-800-667-1105

Whistler Mtn. Snow Safety

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