Avalanche Forecast

Issued: Apr 1st, 2023 4:00PM

The alpine rating is moderate, the treeline rating is low, and the below treeline rating is low. Known problems include Wind Slabs and Deep Persistent Slabs.

Avalanche Canada bchristie, Avalanche Canada

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Use extra caution below ridgetops, and in cross-loaded features. Watch for signs of instability like shooting cracks, or fresh avalanches. Wind slabs may slide easily where they sit on a frozen crust.

Summary

Confidence

Moderate

Avalanche Summary

No new avalanches were reported before 4 pm on Saturday.

On Thursday, south of Valemount, several small (size 1.5) naturally triggered avalanches were reported on SE-SW aspects in the alpine. They occurred on slopes facing the sun during the warmest part of the day.

Snowpack Summary

Up to 10cm of soft snow sits over a thin crust on steep slopes facing the sun right up into the alpine. Snow that fell earlier in the week has been redistributed by northeast winds. On high, north-facing terrain, wind slabs may sit over facets and surface hoar.

The mid-snowpack is generally strong. There continues to be a weak layer of facets from November at the base of the snowpack. This layer remains a concern in rocky, shallow, or thin to thick snowpack areas at treeline and above.

Weather Summary

Saturday Night

Partly cloudy. Possible trace of snow expected. Light west or southwest ridgetop wind. Freezing level falling to valley bottom. Treeline low around -7°C.

Sunday

Mostly cloudy. No new snow expected. Light northwest wind. Freezing level rising to 1100 m. Treeline high around -4°C

Monday

Mostly sunny. No new snow expected. Light northwest wind. Freezing level at valley bottom in the morning, rising to 1000 m.

Tuesday

Mostly sunny. No new snow expected. Light variable wind. Freezing level at valley bottom in the morning, rising to 1000 m.

More details can be found in the Mountain Weather Forecast.

Terrain and Travel Advice

  • Watch for wind-loaded pockets especially around ridgecrest and in extreme terrain.
  • Stay off recently wind loaded slopes until they have had a chance to stabilize.
  • Closely monitor how the new snow is bonding to the crust.
  • Use caution above cliffs and terrain traps where even small avalanches may have severe consequences.

Problems

Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs

Up to 10cm of fresh snow has likely been redistributed by moderate southwest wind. Expect to find reactive pockets of windslab on leeward slopes.

On any aspect except north, these slabs will be sitting on a refrozen crust formed by the recent sun and warm temperatures. It will be easier to cause an avalanche where wind slabs sit on top of this crust.

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

Elevations: Alpine.

Likelihood

Possible - Likely

Expected Size

1 - 2

Deep Persistent Slabs

An icon showing Deep Persistent Slabs

A weak layer of facets exists near the base of the snowpack. The likelihood of human triggering is low given the layer's depth. Suspect terrain for human triggering includes steep, shallow, and rocky terrain where the snowpack transitions from thin to thick.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.

Likelihood

Unlikely

Expected Size

2.5 - 3.5

Valid until: Apr 2nd, 2023 4:00PM

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