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Pineapple Express weather system moves through Whistler

Duffey Lake road closed overnight due to avalanche risk

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The Pineapple Express dumped rain in the valley and soggy snow on the Mountains Friday leaving a the backcountry with unstable snow slopes.

The risk of avalanche was so high Friday (March 1) that Mainroad, the company in charge of maintaining road conditions, decided to close the Duffey Lake Road from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. the next morning. The highway is open in both directions with compact snow and slushy sections from Kane Creek Bridge to Lillooet and a note to watch for fallen rock.

The same system dropped 31 centimetres of snow overnight and 40 centimetres in 24 hours.

While that is welcome news for snowsport enthusiasts, it comes with a high avalanche warning with Whistler Blackcomb advising users to:" Be aware of the increasing potential for large deep avalanche activity at all elevations due to the existence of buried widespread sun crusts and or buried surface hoar," in its avalanche bulletin.

The avalanche risk is "high" in the alpine and at treeline, and "considerable" below the treeline. Looking ahead to Sunday the risk in the backcountry drops to "considerable" for Sunday and Monday.

The alpine was closed Friday due to windy conditions and the Peak2Peak was closed as well.

For up to date information go to www.whistelrblackcomb.com and www.avalanche.ca/cac/bulletins/latest.

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