Backcountry Avalanche Advisory 

As of Wednesday, Feb. 17

Alpine: Considerable Thursday, Moderate Friday

Treeline: Moderate through Friday

Below Treeline: Low through Friday

Travel Advisory : Periods of snowfall since Sunday have brought an accumulation of 43 cm of new snow. Winds accompanying the snowfall were predominantly from the South-Easterly direction. Expect to encounter pockets of windslab up to 40 cm in depth on lee slopes that remain reactive to the weight of a person. Cornices are large, looming, and fragile, with many large cleaves opening up behind them.

Avalanche Activity: Explosive testing yesterday morning produced numerous soft slab avalanches up to size 1.5 running within the most recent storm snow. Numerous slab avalanches up to size 2 have been reported in the backcountry adjacent to Whistler Blackcomb during the past several days. Cornices have also been reactive to light loads during this period and can be expected to remain weak for some time to come. Exposure to the sun over the next several days will result in the development of surface instabilities until the surface layers of snow have gone through several melt-freeze cycles.

Snowpack: Several surface hoar layers can be found buried beneath as well as within the storm snow layers, one of which was up to 10 mm in size on Monday. Numerous easy to moderate shears can be expected to persist today in the top 60 cm of recent storm snow. Below this is a strong coastal snowpack. Conditions change quite drastically once you lose elevation. Below treeline a melt-freeze layer exists with a well settled cohesive snowpack below.

Weather: A building ridge of high pressure will bring mainly sunny skies throughout the week. Freezing levels will rise to around 1,400m this afternoon and fall to the valley bottom again overnight. Little change is expected until at least early next week.

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 Mountain Snow Safety



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