Backcountry Avalanche advisory 

As of Wednesday, Nov. 28

Alpine: Considerable

Treeline: Moderate

Below Treeline: Below Threshold

Travel Advisory: Another layer of low density snow is expected to accumulate before cold dry conditions take us into the weekend. The new snow is dressing up the otherwise shallow snowpack which is barely at avalanche threshold at treeline, and below threshold below treeline. In the alpine the snowpack varies from less than one metre in some solar exposed areas to two-plus metres in lee areas. Watch for terrain traps as they are more numerous than when the snowpack is at normal mid-winter levels.

Avalanche Activity: Natural and skier-triggered small soft slab avalanches involving the new snow were observed immediately after Monday's storm passed. More small acitivity is likely following Wednesday's weather, while the cold conditions forecast for later in the week may come with winds and the associated formation of some wind slabs. Explosives testing last week triggered a few large size two slabs ranging from 0.3 metres to 1.6 metres.

Snowpack: This week's new snow has fallen on a widespread layer of small surface hoar. This layer of mostly tiny crystals seems to have been blown away by the prefrontal winds on Monday, but should still be considered as a potential weakness. The new snow is relatively low density so far. Watch for wind or temperature changes to form areas of windslab. Deeper within our snowpack there is a layer of facets that is sandwiched between crusts anywhere from 80 to 180 cm down.

Weather: A system expected on Wednesday into Thursday will add to the new snow load over the older layers. Clear cold conditions are expected to follow into the weekend.

Remember that there are still many exposed early season hazards so take it easy out there. Watch for winch cats and snowmobile traffic if you re-enter the ski area after operating hours. Call 604-938-7676 or surf to or for more information.

–  Blackcomb Snow Safety

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