Backcountry Advisory 

As of Tuesday Jan. 15

We have received periods of light snowfall since the Monsoon event on Jan. 7. The loading has been quite variable, even more so with the Northerly winds redistributing any surface layers that may be available for transport. In the alpine, you will find some pockets of stiff wind-slab to 30 cm in depth that in some areas is resting on a softer underlying layer. In exposed terrain you may find spots with an abrupt transition from ice to a deep pillow. You can expect to find these wind-slabs to be reactive to the weight of a skier or boarder in some isolated areas. Once you drop down from the ridges, the snow is less reactive and the coverage a bit more consistent. However, there is a rather deadly raincrust that might cause you to want to think twice about descending down through the trees to the valley floor.

The rain has pretty much bridged over the deep instabilities that have been plaguing us up to this point. You may still find spots above 2,200 metres where no rain fell and where the November crust could still prove to be a weakness. Avoid steep rocky terrain above this elevation.

The warm storms have promoted good cornice growth, and they are fragile. Stay well back from the edge if you are travelling the ridgelines.

Travel with caution if you choose to leave the ski area boundary. Don’t get lost! A run to the valley on the refrozen snow surface below the forest canopy would not be very pleasant. If you are returning inbounds after hours, watch for snowmobiles and winch-cats working. Impact with a winch cable could have serious implications.

The backcountry avalanche danger is rated as MODERATE.

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