Backcountry Advisory 

Forecast of Avalanche Danger as of Wednesday Dec. 14, 2005

Alpine: LOW

Treeline: LOW

Below Treeline: Below threshold

Travel Advisory : At treeline and alpine elevations, up to 30 cm of faceted snow and mixed forms are resting on a melt-freeze crust. Some solar exposed aspects have a weak crust on the surface due to the warm temperatures in the alpine last weekend. Wind-transported snow has also formed some isolated soft slabs above the 2,000 metre elevation. Be aware of early season hazards in the backcountry such as barely covered rocks and holes, as well as bergshrunds and crevasses.

Avalanche Activity : Moderate to strong mountaintop winds from the southwest on Sunday and Monday formed some pockets of windslab above the 2,000 metre elevation that were observed to be reactive to a skier or boarder in some areas. Solar-induced surface instabilities were also observed in some areas during the weekend.

Snowpack : The surface layers of snow are resting on a variable temperature crust down about 10-30 cm in the snowpack that formed on Nov. 25. The layers above and immediately under this crust have become weak and faceted and are considered to be the major concern within the snowpack as they have the potential to become a persistent weakness once buried by future snowfall. The aforementioned crust remains on the surface in some wind exposed areas. Down about 60-90 cm another crust can be found that formed on Nov. 10 after rain had fallen at times to at least the 2,200 metre elevation. Surface hoar has grown periodically during the past week. Many start zones are still rocky and the snow is particularly sugary in these areas. Keep an eye on these rocky areas as future storms continue to bury the weaknesses that have developed throughout this period.

Weather : A mix of sun and cloud is forecasted for Thursday and Friday with a continued temperature inversion. The offshore ridge of high pressure that has been blocking any systems from arriving on the South Coast of B.C. may shift to the East early next week.

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 where there is also a link to the CAA public avalanche bulletin, or call 1-800-667-1105

— Whistler Mtn. Snow Safety


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