Avalanche Forecast

Issued: Feb 5th, 2024 4:00PM

The alpine rating is moderate, the treeline rating is low, and the below treeline rating is low. Known problems include Persistent Slabs and Deep Persistent Slabs.

Avalanche Canada IJ, Avalanche Canada


10-20 cms of recent storm snow has fallen with little wind, improving ski quality. If the winds pick up, this will sluff easily in steep alpine terrain!

Continue to use caution on larger slopes in the alpine and at treeline since our persistent avalanche problems have not left us.



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Avalanche Summary

Forecasters in the Sunshine and Lake Louise ski areas as well as a team in the Bow Lake area saw some small windslab and loose dry and avalanches to size 1 out of steep alpine terrain. A size 2 was observed in the Sunshine backcountry that initiated as a small windslab and stepped down to the persistent layers underneath.

Snowpack Summary

10-20 cm of storm snow with light winds has improved the ski quality at upper elevations. This new snow sits on a recently formed crust, which is widespread at all elevations, except for north aspects above 2500 m. The cooling temperatures have improved the stability of the mid-pack, but the January persistent facet layers down 20-50 cm, and deep persistent facet and depth hoar layers at the base of the snowpack, are still present at treeline and above.

Weather Summary

A couple of weak disturbances will bring light snow, generally light winds and freezing levels below valley bottom over the next few days:

Tues: Trace to 5cm new snow depending on location. Alpine winds may pick up to moderate from the SW.

Wed: Trace of new snow

Thurs: Trace to 5 cm new snow depending on location.

For more mountain weather click HERE.

Terrain and Travel Advice

  • Avoid areas where the snow feels stiff and/or slabby.
  • Avoid shallow, rocky areas where the snowpack transitions from thick to thin.
  • Closely monitor how the new snow is bonding to the crust.


Persistent Slabs

An icon showing Persistent Slabs

The cooling temperatures have reduced the likelihood of the persistent slab problem which is comprised of facets that formed during the cold snap in January. However, this weak layer has not gone away entirely, especially at upper elevations.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.


Unlikely - Possible

Expected Size

1 - 2

Deep Persistent Slabs

An icon showing Deep Persistent Slabs

The weak facets and depth hoar are still present at the base of the snowpack in many areas at treeline and above. These are most likely to be triggered from thin snowpack areas or by large triggers like cornices. If triggered this could result in a large avalanche, so evaluate steep terrain carefully.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.


Unlikely - Possible

Expected Size

1.5 - 2.5

Valid until: Feb 6th, 2024 4:00PM