Backcountry Advisory 

As of Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Alpine: LOW

Treeline: LOW

Below Treeline: LOW

Avalanche Danger may increase with direct exposure to the sun on some steep solar aspects.

Travel Advisory : Beware the crust. The warm, wet weather of Jan. 22 and 23 has left us with a variable crust that is widespread at all elevations throughout our local mountains. This crust is very breakable at higher elevations, and has been gradually breaking down at treeline elevations. Choose your routes carefully.

Avalanche Activity: Cornice fall has been the greatest hazard of late, with many of them been breaking off easily with explosive testing. Large cornice failures have been observed over the past week in numerous backcountry areas. Direct exposure to the sun has also been periodically causing some surface sloughing on steep solar aspects in some isolated areas.

Snowpack : An ice crust formed last Tuesday night on all aspects from about the 2,200 metres elevation down to below the treeline. This crust has been gradually breaking down and faceting, most notably at and below treeline elevations. Surface hoar growth has been most evident at treeline elevations, up to 1cm in size this morning. As the aforementioned surface features become loaded by future snowfall, they can be expected to show up as failure planes for future avalanche activity once their critical threshold has been reached.

Weather : Mainly sunny skies with light outflow winds and a temperature inversion are in store for us for the balance of the week. It looks like a change in the weather is a good bet over the weekend as the ridge of high pressure moves inland ushering in a series of weak systems beginning on Saturday night.

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 surf to 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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