Avalanche Forecast

Issued: Apr 29th, 2023 4:00PM

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

Avalanche Canada CJ, Avalanche Canada

A major avalanche cycle is underway. Avoid all avalanche terrain. Avalanches will run to the valley bottom as the day heats up. Hikers should pay attention to avalanche warning signs at locations like Emerald Lake, Lake Louise and Sulphur Mountain.




Avalanche Summary

A widespread natural and explosive triggered avalanche cycle up to size 3 occurred later in the afternoon on Friday and Saturday along with a skier-triggered size 2.5. Avalanches were a mix of wet loose, wet slabs, and deep persistent slabs, with many large avalanches running to the bottom of the runout zones.

Snowpack Summary

The heat is on! After a light refreeze overnight, sky-high freezing levels will melt and destabilize the snowpack early in the day. Expect wet snow on all solar aspects and unsupportive isothermal snow (slush) at lower elevations. The weak basal facets are a significant concern in thinner snowpack areas.

Weather Summary

Valley bottoms may cool to near freezing on Saturday night, but expect above-freezing temperatures at treeline and above with only radiative cooling overnight. Freezing levels will climb quickly on Sunday morning reaching ~3500 m. Alpine temperatures between +5 and +10°C are expected with strong solar input and light SW winds.

Terrain and Travel Advice

  • Avoid all avalanche terrain during periods of intense solar radiation.
  • Avoid exposure to overhead avalanche terrain as temperatures increase.


Deep Persistent Slabs

An icon showing Deep Persistent Slabs

We are seeing lots of avalanche activity on the weak facets and depth hoar at the bottom of the snowpack as the upper snowpack heats up and looses cohesion. These avalanches are easily triggered, often large and running long distances.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.


Very Likely - Certain

Expected Size

2 - 3.5


An icon showing Cornices

Cornices will be falling off this weekend. With the high freezing levels and direct sun exposure, the mountains will begin to shed. Do not exposure yourself to any corniced features or steep slopes below cornices as the day heats up.

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

Elevations: Alpine.



Expected Size

1.5 - 2.5

Loose Wet

An icon showing Loose Wet

We expect wet slabs and wet loose avalanches on all aspects and elevations, especially when the sun cooks the slopes. Slush and wet snow will run like water down gullies and through rock bands: the spring melt is on.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: All elevations.



Expected Size

1 - 2.5

Valid until: Apr 30th, 2023 4:00PM