Backcountry Avalanche Advisory 

Avalache rating as of Wednesday Feb. 18
Alpine: Moderate through Friday
Treeline: Low through Friday
Below treeline: Low through Friday

Travel Advisory: About 30 cm of settled snow is overlying a variety of wind and temperature crusts. Clearing skies this afternoon and daytime warming may result in the development of some surface instabilities on steep solar aspects. In areas where the snowpack is fat, it is effectively bridging over the weak facetted base. In shallower areas there is a much weaker bridge and the facets and depth hoar are still very much in evidence.  Travel in the backcountry is easy now, but keep in mind that many hazards are still not well covered.

Avalanche Activity: There has been little in the way of avalanche activity since February 9th. There have been recent reports of some areas of windslab that have been reactive to a skier or rider on some isolated North facing aspects. Until conditions change, it is unlikely that anything but a large sudden load (cornice fall) could trigger an avalanche with significant destructive potential.

Snowpack: Settled snow is sitting over various old crust and wind-hammered surfaces, with some near-surface faceting evident in the top 40 cm of the snowpack. Buried surface hoar below treeline could be a sliding layer given a consolidated overlying slab. The crust/facet combination that formed in early December is now buried up to 200 cm below a stiff, more coastal snowpack, but stability tests within this basal weakness are variable and inconsistent.  Recent cool clear nights have formed a layer of surface hoar that is mixed in with a dusting of stellars that fell overnight on Feb 14th.

Weather: The weak system to our South that brought cloud cover to our region will give way to clearing skies as a ridge of high pressure continues to rebuild. We may see some increasing cloud cover on Thursday as another weak system brushes by our region from the South, with skies clearing once again on Friday.

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 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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