Issued: Jan 15th, 2024 4:00PM
Watch for shooting cracks and recent avalanches, these are common signs of instability.
Be cautious in areas where the wind has made the snow feel upside down.
Natural and remotely triggered slab avalanches are still being reported up to size 2.5 at both alpine and treeline elevations, on west, north, and east aspects. Loose sluffing is also happening in steep terrain.
These avalanches are often associated with a weak layer of surface hoar that was buried in early January. In some cases, a windslab is sitting above this layer of surface hoar.Thursday and Friday of last week saw similar avalanches being reported to size 2.5.
Roughly 40-60 cm of snow fell in the region early last week, which has now been wind affected in the alpine and is faceting with cold temperatures. It buried a mix of crusts, surface hoar, and facets. Areas where surface hoar may be preserved are of greatest concern.
A crust formed by early December rain is found ~70 cm deep, and an old layer of surface hoar is 60-100 cm deep. Recent observations suggest triggering this layer is unlikely. The lower snowpack is variable throughout the region and weak basal facets are likely to be found on the ground in shallow snowpack areas.
Partly cloudy, west alpine wind 10-50 km/h, treeline temperature -26 °C.
Cloudy with 5-10 cm of snow, southwest alpine wind 10-40 km/h, treeline temperature -16 °C.
Cloudy with 10-15 cm of snow, south alpine wind, 10-30 km/h, treeline temperature -12 °C.
Mix of sun and cloud, variable alpine wind 10-20 km/h, treeline temperature -15 °C.
More details can be found in the Mountain Weather Forecast.
Terrain and Travel Advice
- Watch for areas of hard wind slab on alpine features.
- Be careful with wind slabs, especially in steep, unsupported and/or convex terrain features.
- Carefully assess open slopes and convex rolls where buried surface hoar may be preserved.
Watch for signs of slab formation in the surface snow, particularly in areas loaded by north winds and where buried surface hoar could be preserved (think sheltered openings at mid elevations).
Aspects: All aspects.
Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.
Surface snow covers a crust and isolated surface hoar which has produced natural, remote and rider-trigger avalanches. Investigate this interface. As the snow settles and gains cohesion, a reactive upper snowpack may form.
Aspects: All aspects.
Elevations: Treeline, Below Treeline.
Valid until: Jan 16th, 2024 4:00PM