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Backcountry Advisory

As of Wednesday, April 11

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Alpine: LOW

Treeline: LOW

Below Treeline: LOW

The avalanche hazard will increase over the weekend with the forecasted snow.

Travel Advisory : Spring like conditions are but a memory and winter has returned to the mountains. Snow is forecasted for the weekend; we could see up to 30 cm in the alpine by Sunday morning, with the bulk of it arriving Friday through Saturday. A variable melt-freeze crust in the alpine is now covered by 5 cm of loose snow. This crust will make for fast but challenging travel and will become a nice sliding surface for the weekend’s predicted snow. Watch for old, frozen avalanche debris and be careful of crust ruts at lower elevations.

Avalanche Activity : As is usual at this time of the year, sun warmed, solar aspects have been producing point releases — some up to size 1.5. There will be some soft wind slabs around in the alpine from Monday’s flurry activity and moderate SE winds. We can expect to see an increase in avalanche activity over the weekend as the next storm cycle hits us. Cornices are always a hazard at this time of year and they may have become brittle with the cooling temperatures.

Snowpack: We could see another 30 cm of snow at treeline and above by Sunday morning. The crust that is out there now will make an effective sliding layer for any snow that does fall. Although the latest snow seems to have bonded well to the crust, there are still easy to moderate shears within the new snow in some wind-transported, deeper pockets. Below the melt-freeze crust the old snow is still moist. However, this crust has been strengthened and solidified as the cool temperatures of the past few days have permeated deeper into the snowpack.

Weather: Mixed sun and cloud should prevail today, tonight and tomorrow. Moderate amounts of snow are forecasted for the area Friday and Saturday with a change to flurries on Sunday. The freezing level will hover around the 1,000 m mark.

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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