Backcountry Advisory 

Alpine: MODERATE

Treeline: LOW

Below Treeline: LOW

The avalanche danger will rapidly increase with the arrival of Friday’s storm cycle and associated rising freezing levels on Saturday.

Travel Advisory : Another 11cm of low density snow has fallen during the past 48 hours, bringing our total to 62cm for the past week. This gradually increasing load of cold snow arrived with little wind effect for the most part. You can expect some pocket instabilities to develop today to the immediate lee of any ridge-top terrain features on Northerly aspects, with continued flurries and wind. Cornices have been continuing to grow during the past week and are failing with little or no trigger. Some ridgelines are still scoured down to an old hard surface while in other areas this layer is buried by over 100cm of storm snow.

Avalanche Activity: Tuesday’s sunny weather revealed a number of natural avalanches that occurred periodically in the surrounding backcountry during the past week. The most notable of which was at least a size 2.5 that appeared to initially involve the storm snow, and is suspected to have stepped down to an old temperature and wind affected interface. Some large cornice falls were also observed to have occurred.

Snowpack : Within the storm snow you will find different density layers that reflect the different wind conditions associated with the various small snowfalls that have occurred during the past week. The easy shears that were observed within the upper storm snow layers on Sunday and Monday have since gradually tightened in and have not been observed to be reactive to ski testing since Monday afternoon, while the underlying upper snowpack has continued to gain strength as well. Moderate shears persist in some areas on the underlying Feb. 5 crust layer which could possibly still present itself as a buried weakness, particularly with any large cornice falls. This crust can still be felt on some ridgelines, but for the most part it has been buried by the new snow.

Weather : A mix of cloud and sun on Thursday will give way to a more organized system on Friday and Saturday along with gradually rising freezing levels.

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

– Whistler Mtn Snow Safety

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