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Backcountry Avalanche Advisory

As of Wednesday, Jan. 20

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Alpine: Considerable Thursday, Moderate Friday

Treeline: Moderate through Friday

Below Treeline: Low through Friday

Travel Advisory : The 13 cm of light density snow that fell overnight is resting on approximately 50 cm of wind affected storm snow. The new snow layers are bonding poorly to the underlying storm snow layers with overnight natural activity observed. Expect to encounter soft slabs that are easily reactive to the weight of a person. During your travels you can also expect to encounter extensive scouring in exposed terrain, with large volumes of wind transported snow dramatically changing the landscape on lee aspects. Bear in mind that periodical exposure to sun over the next several days may result in rapid destabilization of the surface layers of snow.

Avalanche Activity: Avalanche control conducted this morning was producing up to size 1.5 soft slabs on North, Northwest and West facing aspects. The soft slab was very reactive but generally harmless in all but more exposed terrain. Cornices are large, looming and unstable.

Snowpack: In the alpine terrain the wind affected storm snow layers from earlier in the week were presenting two shears, one down about 10-15 cm and another stiffer layer at about 35-40 cm down. Although the storm snow layers have since settled dramatically and increased in strength, step fractures are a lingering possibility in some isolated areas. Snowpack conditions are extremely variable. Windward aspects are quite scoured. At treeline the slab is much less consolidated.

Weather: We should have a brief break in the weather mid-day today, with another weak system arriving onshore overnight bringing renewed flurries that will taper off through the day on Thursday leaving sunny breaks in its wake. A building ridge of high pressure on Friday and Saturday will bring continued sunny breaks with another series of systems rolling in on Sunday and Monday.

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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