Avalanche Forecast

Issued: Apr 13th, 2023 4:00PM

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

Avalanche Canada TJ, Avalanche Canada


A skier triggered avalanche occurred on the approach to the north glacier on Mt. Athabasca today, along with a number of natural avalanches to size 3 in the area. The deep persistent weak layer is most likely to be triggered in thin-to-thick snowpack transition zones.

The Icefields Parkway will be closed at 12:00 pm on Friday, April 14, 2023 from Parker Ridge to the Big Bend parking lot. The Icefields Parkway is expected to open at 3:00 pm Friday, April 14, 2023.




Avalanche Summary

A size 2 skier remote or accidental triggered avalanche was observed on the regular approach to the north glacier on Mt. Athabasca. Several other large avalanches from the last couple of days were also observed. These avalanches are mostly occurring on east and west aspects at tree line and above. The are either running on a mid-pack persistent weak layer or stepping down to the deep persistent layer.

Don't forget to post avalanche observations to the MIN.

Snowpack Summary

Up to 20cm of snow sits on multiple crusts up to 2400m. Snow pit tests are showing results in the weak facet crystals below these crusts on south aspects. Above 2400m the surface snow is dry. The Snowpack below 1800m is in a daily melt-freeze cycle. The mid pack above this elevation consists of multiple layers of sun crusts or facets. Depth hoar and basal facets make up the base of the snowpack.

Weather Summary


A mix of sun and cloud.

Precipitation: Nil.

Alpine temperature: High -5 °C.

Ridge wind southwest: 10-25 km/h.

Freezing level: 1700 metres.


Mainly cloudy with isolated flurries.

Precipitation: Trace.

Alpine temperature: Low -8 °C, High -4 °C.

Ridge wind southwest: 15 km/h gusting to 40 km/h.

Freezing level: 1800 metres.

Terrain and Travel Advice

  • Minimize exposure to sun-exposed slopes when the solar radiation is strong.
  • Remember that the snowpack will be significantly different at higher elevations than lower down.


Loose Wet

An icon showing Loose Wet

Stronger overnight freezes may keep this problem in check until mid to late afternoons. Watch out if the sun comes out. Wet loose avalanches can step-down to our basal facets in steep terrain resulting in large avalanches

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

Elevations: All elevations.



Expected Size

1 - 1.5

Deep Persistent Slabs

An icon showing Deep Persistent Slabs

The bottom of the snowpack is inherently weak with well-developed Facets and Depth Hoar.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.



Expected Size

2 - 3.5

Valid until: Apr 14th, 2023 4:00PM