Issued: Jan 30th, 2024 4:00PM
Continue to make conservative terrain choices.
We are transitioning out of a warm, stormy period that introduced rapid change to the snowpack.
On Monday, a widespread natural avalanche cycle continued on all aspects and elevations, up to size 3.5. These avalanches occurred during an intense, stormy period of wind, snow and rain.
A few natural avalanches continued to occur through the day on Tuesday, and looking forward to Wednesday, we think that human-triggered avalanches will remain likely.
Light to moderate snowfall continues as the freezing level drops.
Over the last week, this forecast area has seen significant rain and snow. The upper snowpack is likely very dense, settling rapidly, and moist or wet at treeline elevations and below, where some of this snow fell as rain. In the alpine, strong southerly winds have been blowing this snow, depositing it as thick and touchy slabs on leeward slopes.
A weak layer of surface hoar and/or facets formed earlier in the month is now buried around 60-80cm. Below this, a thick crust from January 1st exists up to around 1600 m. There is high potential for the warm temperatures and new precipitation to overload these layers triggering very large avalanches.
Mostly cloudy. Trace of snow expected above 750 m. Moderate southeast ridgetop wind. Treeline temperature around -1 °C.
Cloudy. 5-15 cm of snow expected above 500 m. Moderate southeast ridgetop wind. Treeline temperature around -2 °C.
Mostly cloudy. 3-7 cm of snow expected above 1200 m. Moderate south ridgetop wind. Treeline temperature around -1 °C.
Partly cloudy. 5-15 cm of snow expected to near valley bottom. Moderate west ridgetop wind. Temperature dropping rapidly, treeline low around -7 °C.
More details can be found in the Mountain Weather Forecast.
Terrain and Travel Advice
- Watch for newly formed and reactive wind slabs as you transition into wind affected terrain.
- If triggered, wind slabs avalanches may step down to deeper layers resulting in larger avalanches.
- Make observations and assess conditions continually as you travel.
- The more the snow feels like a slurpy, the more likely loose wet avalanches will become.
This avalanche problem is most likely where moderate winds are moving dry snow and forming fresh slabs in leeward terrain.
Aspects: North, North East, East, South East, West, North West.
Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.
Several weak layers buried between late December and mid-January are of concern due to recent warm temperatures, strong winds, and heavy precipitation. These layers are likely to become less concerning as the stormy period passes.
Aspects: All aspects.
Elevations: All elevations.
Loose wet avalanches become less likely as temperatures cool, but watch for signs of instability like natural loose wet avalanches on steep slopes, and snow clumping up, gathering mass, and moving downslope underneath you as you travel.
Aspects: All aspects.
Elevations: Below Treeline.
Valid until: Jan 31st, 2024 4:00PM