Backcountry Advisory 

As of Wednesday, March 26

Alpine : Considerable

Treeline : Moderate

Below Treeline : Low

Travel Advisory : The 40 cm of snow that fell over the weekend has continued to settle and gain strength. An additional 10 cm of low density snow fell last night accompanied by moderate East and Southeasterly winds. Soft slabs up to 25 cm in depth were reacting easily to ski testing this morning. Bear in mind that in some isolated areas a soft slab in motion has the potential to trigger a deeper release within the underlying storm snow layers. New cornice tabs are soft and fragile and are failing easily.

Avalanche Activity : Explosive and ski testing this morning was producing up to size 1.5 results within the most recent storm snow layers. Crown lines were observed to be up to 25 cm in depth on some lee slopes. Most loading appeared to be high in the start zones. There were reports of a skier accidental avalanche involving three people in the backcountry on Monday. One of the party members was completely buried and found with a transceiver search by the rest of their party. It occurred on a NW aspect at the 1,800 metre elevation. The crown was 70 cm in depth with the failure plane being the March 10 melt-freeze crust.

Snowpack : The low density snow that we have been receiving in the alpine has had lots of wind affect at times, resulting in variable loading. The shears within last weekend’s storm snow layers and the underlying interface have been gradually tightening in with no reports of skier-triggered activity since last Monday. The March 10th raincrust is now buried up to 1 metre deep on some lee slopes in the alpine, but still lurks on the surface in some wind scoured terrain. We have not seen any avalanche activity on the Dec. 5th facet/crust weakness since Jan. 21.

Weather : Flurries this morning should taper off towards the end of the day. The same pattern as last week is expected to continue with a cool moist unstable air-mass bringing periods of flurries throughout the next week, with snow levels remaining close to the valley floor. Friday’s system is expected to bring moderate accumulations of snowfall accompanied by high winds at the mountaintops.

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 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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