Backcountry Advisory 

As of Wednesday, May 3

As of Wednesday, May 3

Alpine: Low

Treeline: Low

Below Treeline: Low

Travel Advisory: With this week’s melt-freeze cycle becoming entrenched, travel conditions will be challenging anywhere that the snow surface was roughed up by snowballing or surface sluffs. If we receive any accumulations of new snow from the weak system that is scheduled to arrive in our area on Friday, we may see the formation of some new snow instabilities, particularly at the interface with the new snow layers and the underlying crust. Stay well back from mature cornices; they will become sensitive as temperatures increase throughout the next few days.

Avalanche Activity: Loose, surface-snow sloughing was common this week with the warm temperatures and solar radiation we received. Daytime heating coupled with nightly below freezing temperatures has created a variable melt-freeze crust on most, if not all aspects, and elevations. Explosive testing on Monday caused a cornice fall that then triggered a 1m deep slab on a northern aspect which ran on the 060412 crust. A similar slab at approx 1,900m on the North aspect of Mount Currie was caused by Saturday (060428) morning’s heavy rain: the interface that the 060412 crust offers will be with us for some time yet.

Snowpack: Daytime

Last night’s cool temperatures created a very stiff crust on all aspects and elevations. The snowpack at lower elevations will trend towards isothermal as the temperatures increase this week – avoid slopes where you are breaking through into the mushy snow.

Weather: Freezing levels will be rising to mountaintop by Wednesday and Thursday is forecasted to be hot. The models show the ridge breaking down by Friday and a weak frontal system coming onshore, which will bring with it cloud cover and precipitation.

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

— Whistler Mtn. Snow Safety


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