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Backcountry Avalanche Advisory

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As of Wednesday, April 1

Alpine: Moderate trending to Considerable.

Travel Advisory: Another 5 cm of new snow has fallen during the past 12 hours, accompanied by moderate South-westerly winds. Wind directions have been all over the map during and after the periods of light snowfall since last Friday. Watch for clues during your travels that may indicate where the loading has been. Caution is advised around any previously shallow rocky areas that are now loaded with storm snow. Remember our snowpack is very different this year so be diligent about safe travel practices and be aware of your terrain. Give cornices a wide berth as cornice falls have triggered many of the recent large avalanches. Keep in mind that the sun packs more of a punch at this time of year and it can be expected to become a factor in the stability of the snowpack once it reappears over the weekend.

Avalanche Activity: Strong SE winds on Monday night formed some areas of stiff wind-slab that were reactive to the weight of a person yesterday in some isolated areas in the high alpine. You can also expect to see today's moderate South-Westerly winds result in new soft slab development throughout the course of the day. Although the deep slab avalanche activity has diminished during this past week, the lurking weaknesses have not gone away. The potential still exists for large avalanches to occur given a big trigger or even a lesser trigger at the weak part of the slope.

Snowpack: We have received 25 cm of snowfall since Friday night. Last night's snowfall is resting on a variety of old surfaces varying from wind-slab to wind-scoured, as well as solar and temperature affected surfaces. As of 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, a new 15 cm soft slab had formed to the lee of ridge-tops that was reactive to ski testing with only limited propagation. The persistent weak layers from December, February and March are all at or near their threshold. Stability tests in profiles are indicating mostly hard shears, but the periodical large isolated avalanche activity indicates a more acute weakness. As always, the areas to avoid are those where the snowpack is shallow and the weak basal layers are more extensive.

Weather: Periods of steady snowfall today and tonight will taper off to light flurries by tomorrow morning as the front passes to the south of our region. The air mass is then expected to dry out and stabilize for the weekend as another stronger ridge of high pressure builds in on Friday.

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 Mountain Snow Safety

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