Backcountry Advisory 

As of Wednesday, Jan. 14

Freezing levels rose close to the 2,100 metre elevation yesterday, with light rain falling below 2,000 metres. The combined effects of the mild temperatures and light rainfall caused the surface layers of snow to become moist. Overnight cooling helped to stabilize the surface layers of snow above the treeline, leaving us with a thin melt-freeze crust on the snow surface. Surface instabilities can be expected to persist at lower elevations where the snowpack has become quite rain saturated.

Approximately 10-15 cm of snow fell overnight in the alpine, accompanied by gusty Southerly winds. Wind slabs of up to 30 cm in depth were observed in the alpine this morning in start zones with a large fetch behind them. These wind slabs were observed to be reactive to both explosive and ski testing.

The forecast is for a continued series of mild systems to arrive throughout the week embedded in a Southwesterly flow. Freezing levels are forecast to rise with the arrival of each system, falling once again with their passage. The avalanche danger is expected to increase along with each rise in the freezing level, and decrease with its fall. The snowpack below treeline is not expected to stabilize until a cooling trend arrives.

As of the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 14 th the backcountry avalanche danger is rated as HIGH, trending to CONSIDERABLE with forecasted overnight cooling.

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 at www.whistler-blackcomb.com/weather where there is also a link to the CAA public avalanche bulletin, or call 1-800-667-1105.

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