Avalanche Forecast

Issued: Jan 31st, 2024 4:00PM

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

Avalanche Canada bchristie, Avalanche Canada


Continue to make conservative terrain choices.

We are slowly transitioning out of a warm, stormy period that introduced rapid change to the snowpack.




Avalanche Summary

On Wednesday morning, north of Stewart, large (size 2.5) natural wind slab avalanches were reported in alpine terrain.

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.

Snowpack Summary

The upper snowpack is a mix of wind slabs, moist snow, dry snow, and a frozen crust that exists up to 1800 m.

Around 60-100 cm below the snow surface, a thick crust buried in early January exists up to 1600 m. At higher elevations, this same layer is weak, sugary faceted snow. More weak layers of facets and feathery surface hoar (formed up until mid-January) sit on top of this layer. The recent storm snow/rain and warm temperatures triggered large avalanches on these layers during the height of the storm, but it is expected that they will start to strengthen with calmer, cooler weather.

Below treeline, the majority of the snowpack is rain-soaked and diminishes rapidly to dirt below 500 m.

Weather Summary

Wednesday Night

Cloudy. Light rain expected, moderate around Terrace and Kitimat (10-20 mm). Snow above 1250 m. Moderate south or southwest ridgetop wind. Treeline low around 0 °C.


Mostly cloudy. Very light rain expected. Freezing level around 1600 m. Moderate south ridgetop wind. Treeline temperature around 1 °C.


Mostly cloudy. 7-15 cm of snow expected to near valley bottom. Moderate to strong southwest ridgetop wind. Temperature dropping rapidly, treeline low around -7 °C.


Partly cloudy. No new snow expected. Moderate northwest ridgetop wind. Treeline temperature around -10 °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.


Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs

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.



Expected Size

1.5 - 2.5

Persistent Slabs

An icon showing Persistent Slabs

Several weak layers buried between late December and mid-January are still a concern in this forecast area. Calmer, cooler weather is making them less reactive, but they might not really lock up until the weekend when it's much colder.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.



Expected Size

2.5 - 3.5

Loose Wet

An icon showing Loose Wet

Loose wet avalanches become less likely as temperatures cool, but watch for signs of instability like natural avalanches on steep slopes, and snow clumping up, gathering mass, and moving downslope underneath you as you travel.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: Below Treeline.


Possible - Likely

Expected Size

1 - 2

Valid until: Feb 1st, 2024 4:00PM