Backcountry Avalanche advisory 

As of Wednesday, March 12

Alpine : Considerable trending to Moderate

Treeline : Moderate trending to Low

Below Treeline : Low

Travel Advisory : Approximately 10 cm of moist snow fell in the high alpine Monday, with freezing levels rising to approximately 2,050 metres. Mixed snow and rain fell at the 1,850 metres elevation, with steady rainfall at lower elevations. Freezing levels plummeted on Monday night with an additional 10 cm of snow falling accompanied by strong East-Southeasterly winds at the mountain tops. Last week’s sun crust remains exposed on any windward slopes and ridge tops, while on lee slopes a new crust formed that is now buried by as much as 70 cm of wind-transported snow. Cornices have grown significantly during the past 48 hours and are very fragile. It would be prudent to give them a wide berth from both above and below.

Avalanche Activity : Avalanche control and ski testing throughout the day yesterday and this morning was producing avalanche activity and cornice falls up to size 2.0, mostly in the 20-25 cm range, with some windslabs observed up to 70 cm in depth. Some areas saw easy and widespread fracture propagation. A fairly widespread natural avalanche cycle appears to have occurred in the high alpine when the freezing levels rose on Monday.

Snowpack : Two easy shears were observed within the storm snow layers on Tuesday morning, one in the middle, and one a few centimetres above the underlying melt-freeze crust. Both of these shears appear to have tightened in somewhat during the course of the day and continued to due so last night. At treeline elevations the wet layer of snow that was observed under Monday night’s snowfall had begun to form a crust by Tuesday afternoon. We have not seen any avalanche activity on the Dec. 5 th facet/crust weakness since Jan. 21.

Weather : Mainly cloudy skies are forecast for today with a chance of isolated flurries and occasional sunny breaks. Cool and unsettled conditions are expected to prevail on Thursday and 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 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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