Backcountry Avalanche Advisory 

 

(Please note that Backcountry refers to any areas outside the Ski Area Boundary)

As of Wednesday, Dec. 29

Alpine: Considerable Thursday, Moderate Friday

Treeline: Moderate through Friday

Below Treeline: Moderate through Friday

Travel Advisory: Deep storm snow has drifted into lee and sheltered areas, especially behind ridges, at large terrain features, and near tree line. The strong winds associated with the recent storm have scoured many exposed areas down to glacier ice despite the accumulation of nearly two metres of storm snow. All this snow is settling rapidly, creating the potential for deep natural avalanche activity from isolated areas. Most skier-triggered avalanche activity is likely to be limited to shears within the storm snow. Avoid thin, rocky terrain as we have seen deep slabs initiated here.

Avalanche Activity: Avalanche control over the past week has seen numerous size 1-2 slab avalanches running within the storm snow. We have also seen isolated size 3 slab avalanches running to ground with natural and skier triggers. Most of these large avalanches are starting in thinner weak areas and propagating into the deeper slab.

Snowpack: Areas of deep drifts and alternately, areas scoured down to glacier ice are scattered throughout the alpine. There are several easy to moderate shears within the storm snow, and moderate east winds are currently redistributing snow into usual windward areas near ridgelines. The persistent weaknesses which formed in mid November are now buried anywhere from 1.5 to 3.0 metres down in most alpine start zones. The storm snow total since Dec. 22 is 165cm.

Weather : A modified arctic high will moves down into our area Wednesday bringing clear skies and cooler temperatures into the weekend.

For more avalanche related information or additional avalanche advisories go to avalanche.ca. For a local advisory go to Whistler/Blackcomb.com/weather, or call 604-938-7676.

 

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