The storm snow that fell during the past weekend has settled well. Immediately following the storm, ski and explosive testing produced avalanches that were running within the storm snow layers. We did, however, also see some isolated occurrences that failed on the melt-freeze crust that dates back to mid March. Power flurries have added icing to the cake you will find that the wind has formed some reactive soft slabs on north aspects near the ridgelines. As is common at this time of year, any breaks of sunshine have rapidly changed the snow quality, moistening the surface and producing snowballing on steep solar aspects.
The melt-freeze crust has for the most part been obliterated, but you may still find it on aspects that are exposed to the wind. The crust is starting to breakdown, and in some shallow snowpack terrain you may find mixed form crystals above it. As yet we have seen very little avalanche activity on this layer, but it is something to keep in mind as the spring touring season kicks in.
The forecast is calling for more periods of snow to continue through the weekend. The freezing level could rise briefly on Thursday night/Friday, but generally the temperatures should remain cool enough to produce snow close to the valley. Remember that conditions may change rapidly. Call 604-938-7676 for daily bulletins relating to the terrain adjacent to Whistler-Blackcomb, or check the CAA website at www.avalanche.ca.
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