Avalanche Forecast

Issued: Apr 9th, 2023 4:00PM

The alpine rating is high, the treeline rating is high, and the below treeline rating is considerable. Known problems include Loose Wet and Storm Slabs.

Avalanche Canada bchristie, Avalanche Canada


Prepare for a wet and stormy day. Avoid avalanche terrain during periods of heavy loading from rain, snow or wind.

Observe your local conditions, and let that guide your terrain choice. Forecasted snow and rainfall amounts are uncertain.




Avalanche Summary

As a very wet storm rolls in, expect avalanches to be wetter and more likely on Monday.

On Saturday, south of Fernie, a large (size 2), rider triggered avalanche was reported on a NE/E facing slope around treeline. The reporting riders kindly shared their close call on the Mountain Information Network (MIN). See the post here for more information and photos. Based on the direction the cornices have formed on the ridge above, it looks like the feature may have been cross-loaded by the wind. The reporting party said it appeared to trigger on a thin spot near some rocks, and that warm temperatures and sun may have been a factor.

Also on Saturday in the Fernie area, explosives avalanche control triggered several small (size 1-1.5) dry loose and storm slab avalanches in alpine terrain and treeline terrain. The lower elevation avalanches entrained loose wet snow as they travelled down the slope.

Other recent reports of avalanche activity have been limited to small (size 1) loose snow avalanches in steep, alpine features.

If you head out in the backcountry, let us know what you are seeing by submitting a report to the Mountain Information Network.

Snowpack Summary

Moderate to heavy rain is soaking the surface snow to mountaintop in most places. Previously, dry snow remained on shaded (northerly) slopes in the alpine.

At treeline and below, rain continues to soak frozen crusts or already wet surfaces, and will be eating away at the snowpack at low elevations.

The mid-snowpack is generally well-settled.

The lower snowpack includes a layer of weak sugary crystals near the ground. This layer has not produced recent avalanche activity in this area, but professionals continue to monitor for signs of it becoming active.

Weather Summary

Snow/Rain amounts for the incoming storm are uncertain. Weather models are not agreeing on how widespread or intense the precipitation will be. Prepare to continually evaluate the conditions, and change plans as necessary.

Sunday Night

Cloudy with flurries, 2-10 cm of snow in the high alpine. Rain below 2100 m. Moderate southwest ridgetop wind, trending to strong at higher elevations.


Cloudy. 20-30 mm of rain around the Fernie area, 10-20 mm elsewhere, possible isolated areas of 40 mm or more. The rain/snow line starts the day at 2000m and rises to 2500m by the afternoon. Moderate to strong southwest ridgetop wind, trending to extreme at high elevations.


Mostly cloudy. Rain continues overnight, 5-15 mm, 20-30 mm around Fernie. Snow line falls to 1500 m in the morning, and 1000 m by the end of the day, resulting in 5-10 cm of snow through the day. Moderate to strong southwest ridgetop wind.


Mostly cloudy morning, partly cloudy by the afternoon. 5-10 cm of snow expected. Treeline high around -5°C. Light southwest ridgetop wind.

More details can be found in the Mountain Weather Forecast.

Terrain and Travel Advice

  • Avoid the alpine during periods of heavy loading from new snow wind and/or rain.
  • Avoid avalanche terrain during periods of heavy rain.
  • Be alert to conditions that change with aspect and elevation.
  • A moist or wet snow surface, pinwheeling and natural avalanches are all indicators of a weakening snowpack.
  • The more the snow feels like a slurpy, the more likely loose wet avalanches will become.


Loose Wet

An icon showing Loose Wet

Rising temperatures and an incoming wet storm will increase the chance of wet loose avalanches.

Watch for signs of a rapidly warming snowpack, like snow pinwheeling or snowballing down the slope, or surface snow that starts to look and feel like a slurpy. Loose wet avalanches will become larger and more likely as this slushy snow gets deeper.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: All elevations.


Very Likely

Expected Size

1 - 2.5

Storm Slabs

An icon showing Storm Slabs

In the alpine, reactive storm slabs could be building in the morning, and transition to wet avalanches through the day as the freezing level rises and moderate to heavy precipitation continues.

Strong southwest winds at high elevations could be building deeper, more reactive pockets of slab in leeward terrain.

Use extra caution around ridgecrests, rolls, and on convex slopes. Retreat to mellower terrain if you find signs of instability like shooting cracks, whumpfs, or recent avalanches.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: Alpine.



Expected Size

1 - 2

Valid until: Apr 10th, 2023 4:00PM