Avalanche advisory—as of Wednesday, Jan. 28:
With a fairly stagnant weather pattern moving into the rearview mirror, the mountains will be refreshed with what is probably some much anticipated new snow! The Sea to Sky region will likely receive more than 30 centimetres of new snow over the weekend. The storm is expected to pack a fair punch, bringing heavy precipitation and strong winds with it.
While the excitement of a 30-cm dump can be tough to suppress, we need to remember that conditions are going to change significantly with the arrival of the storm. This is especially true when a storm has been preceded by a period of relatively cold and dry weather. During these cool, dry weather patterns, what usually happens is the surface of the snow begins to change, creating weak snow crystals. When that old snow surface gets buried under fresh powder, those weak crystals can be problematic as they can become a sliding layer for avalanches.
Storm fever is a real thing, and the thrill of a powder day can tip the scales away from our usual levelheadedness, making us susceptible to less-than-ideal decision making. This can be especially true if we haven’t had a good powder day in a while. It’s important to remember that big changes to the snowpack are most often accompanied by an increase in avalanche danger. The theme for this weekend will be transitioning back into a conservative mindset, and keeping our wits about us when we venture into the backcountry.
Remember to always check Avalanche Canada's latest forecasts before heading out.