Backcountry advisory 

As of Wednesday, Feb. 13

The weather picture has calmed right down after last Sunday’s hurricane. The alpine regions now hold a variety of snow conditions ranging from drifts of wind slab to weak breakable sun crusts. Daytime warming is contributing to settlement and strengthening of the upper snow layers and stability has improved considerably.

There are a few snowpack features worth watching out for. Cornices have grown to mammoth proportions and some are becoming critically overloaded. Riding out one of these tumbling nightmares is seldom fun and occasionally fatal. The huge shock on the slope below commonly pulls a big nasty slab even at times of good stability.

The early January rain crust weakness is still lingering, although gaining in strength. This weakness is prominent anywhere from .5 to 1.5 meters down and anywhere below 2,100 metres in elevation. Steep and poorly supported convex terrain should be regarded cautiously in this elevation band.

Clear skies are creating sun crusts and surface hoar in some areas which may form a poor bond with any new snow.

The forecast calls for the current high pressure ridge to start eroding on Saturday allowing the storm track to start sliding down from the north. For daily Backcountry Advisories for areas adjacent to the ski hills call 604-938-7676 or try WWW.WHISTLERBLACKOMB.COM. For areas further afield use WWW.AVALANCHE.CA or call 1-800-667-1105.

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