backcountry 

As of March 27 We have not received any significant amounts of snow during the past week. Moderate to strong northerly mountain-top winds on Saturday and Sunday were busy transporting any available surface layers of snow and redistributing them on any lee slopes and terrain features in the form of wind slabs. As a result you can expect to find a wide variety of surface conditions in the backcountry, ranging from a bomber melt-freeze crust to some rather stiff wind slabs, to a wind-blasted surface. A bit or decent powder can even still be found on some slopes that were sheltered from the wind. Cool temperatures have accompanied the northerly flow which has dominated our weather patterns during the past week. Faceting has been observed to have occurred in the upper layers of our snowpack as a result of the steep temperature gradient within those layers. This phenomenon has begun to break down the surface crusts as well as the wind slabs on some slopes. As of March 27 the snow stability in the backcountry was generally rated as GOOD and the avalanche hazard as LOW. The avalanche hazard is MODERATE on any wind-loaded slopes, meaning loose or human triggered slab avalanches are possible. The weather forecast is calling for the northerly flow to continue into the weekend. A series of very weak disturbances may bring us periods of increasing cloud, and possibly even the occasional snow flurry, but sunny skies will hopefully dominate in the big picture. Temperatures are expected to remain cool during this period. Although powder snow is not in abundance right now, conditions are superb for easy mileage on some classic tours. Hopefully we’ll even get some spring powder before long.

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