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Backcounty Avalanche Advisory

Avalanche advisory as of Wednesday, Nov. 25

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Alpine: High Thursday, Considerable Friday

Treeline: High Thursday, Considerable Friday

Below Treeline: Considerable Thursday, Moderate Friday

Travel Advisory: An intense storm cycle brought us a total of 340 cm of snowfall during the eight-day period beginning on Nov. 15, with more to come. The storm snow layers were settling rapidly throughout the week, but have since been affected by last night's rainfall to varying degrees at all elevations on the mountain. Aside from any potential avalanche hazard, there are also other hazards that should be considered during your travels. Extensive cracks have been opening below many rock bands in the alpine that may become hidden by the storm snow that falls over the next several days. Crevasses also opened up tremendously during the summer months and may take a while before they are safely bridged over.

Avalanche Activity: Last night's rainfall produced widespread snowballing and moist snow sloughs in steep terrain at and below the 1,900 metre elevation. Poor visibility has hampered assessment of Alpine terrain.

Snowpack: There have been no significant weaknesses observed within the snowpack aside from the storm snow instabilities that produced avalanching periodically throughout the week. Rising freezing levels overnight brought a brief period of rainfall as high as the Peak of Whistler Mountain. From 1,800 to 2,200 metres a thin melt-freeze crust formed once temperatures began to fall this morning. Below this crust was a 5 cm layer of moist snow that topped off the past week's storm snow layers. The snowpack becomes progressively more deeply affected by the rainfall as you descend below about the 1,800 metre elevation. The wind slab that started to form in the Alpine this morning should continue to build until the snowfall tapers off late in the day tomorrow.

Weather: Freezing levels are forecast to gradually fall to the 1,600 metre elevation by this afternoon, falling further to approximately 1,400 metres with the arrival of a cold front this evening. Moderate accumulations of snow will continue tonight and tomorrow, and then taper off as a weak ridge of high pressure brings a brief drying trend 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 Mtn Snow Safety

 

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