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Backcountry Avalanche Advisory

As of Wednesday, Feb. 25

Avalanche danger rating
Alpine: Considerable through Friday
Treeline: Considerable through Friday
Below Treeline: Moderate through Friday

Please note that Backcountry refers to any areas outside the Ski Area Boundary.

Backcountry access lift tickets are now available through Guest Relations.

Travel Advisory: We received 0.5 metres of new snow since Sunday. Easily triggered soft slab avalanches continue to be observed early on Wednesday morning. Most of this snow fell with minimal wind while temperatures have fluctuated somewhat. In the alpine there are variable windslabs and near surface facets under the storm snow. Expect to find buried surface hoar in sheltered areas at all elevations. This additional load may be enough in thin areas to step down into older snow. In shallower areas there is a much weaker bridge and the facets and depth hoar are also very weak. In areas where the snowpack is fat, the bridging over the weak facetted base is still holding up.

Avalanche Activity: There was widespread avalanche activity to size 2 on Tuesday and remotely triggered avalanches on Wednesday morning. The storm snow was running easily on the old surfaces, with slabs failing naturally and with ski testing. All aspects saw avalanche activity, especially when the sun came out. We have not yet seen any avalanches stepping down into old snow, but settlements have occurred in shallow areas.

Snowpack: 50 cm of storm snow are now sitting over a variety of old surfaces ranging from surface hoar to hard windslab. There was a strong melt-freeze crust on sun-exposed slopes that will make a good sliding layer below the storm snow. There may be buried surface hoar in sheltered areas at all elevations. The crust/facet combination that formed in early December is now buried up to 200 cm below a stiff hard bridging layer. Stability tests within this basal weakness continue to produce "sudden collapses" when the instability is isolated.

Weather: Snowfall on Wednesday should taper, giving way to relatively clear skies and cooler temperatures for the rest of the week.

- Blackcomb Snow Safety