Avalanche Forecast

Issued: Mar 18th, 2023 4:00PM

The alpine rating is moderate, the treeline rating is moderate, and the below treeline rating is moderate. Known problems include Wind Slabs, Cornices and Loose Wet.

Avalanche Canada lbaker, Avalanche Canada


Avalanche danger will be driven by the solar input on Sunday. Minimize your exposure to steep slopes facing the sun during the hottest part of the day.




Avalanche Summary

On Friday, several wet loose avalanches, up to size 1, were observed on alpine features that received direct sun in the afternoon.

Several large (size 2) natural slab avalanches were reported near Fernie on Thursday. The group observed the avalanche's release when the sun hit open alpine slopes.

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

20-40 cm of dense, wind-affected storm snow falling earlier in the week in the alpine tapers to a rain crust below 1400 m. This storm snow may sit on a sun crust on solar slopes and small surface hoar in sheltered, shaded areas. A sun crust is found on the surface of solar slopes at all 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.

Weather Summary

Saturday Night

Mainly clear skies. Treeline temperature -3 °C. Wind light west. Freezing levels drop to valley bottom.


Mix of sun and cloud. Treeline temperature 0 °C. Wind light southwest. Freezing level rising to 2000m.


Mainly cloudy. Treeline temperature -4 °C. Wind strong east. Freezing level 1500m.


Mix of sun and cloud. Treeline temperature -6 °C. Wind light east. Freezing level 1400m.

More details can be found in the Mountain Weather Forecast.

Terrain and Travel Advice

  • Be careful with wind slabs, especially in steep, unsupported and/or convex terrain features.
  • Avoid sun exposed slopes when the solar radiation is strong, especially if snow is moist or wet
  • Caution around slopes that are exposed to cornices overhead.


Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs

Southwest winds have redistributed snow from earlier in the week to build wind slabs in alpine and treeline lees.

Aspects: North, North East, East, South East, North West.

Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.



Expected Size

1 - 2.5


An icon showing Cornices

The full impact of the march sun is slowly weakening cornices. Pay attention to cornices and give them a wide berth when traveling on or below ridges.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: Alpine.


Unlikely - Possible

Expected Size

1.5 - 3

Loose Wet

An icon showing Loose Wet

Steep rocky terrain facing the sun is likely to see thin loose wet avalanches release during the heat of the day.

Aspects: South East, South, South West, West.

Elevations: All elevations.



Expected Size

1 - 2

Valid until: Mar 19th, 2023 4:00PM