Avalanche Forecast

Issued: May 5th, 2023 4:00PM

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

Avalanche Canada mconlan, Avalanche Canada


Be aware of the variety of avalanche problems that you could come across during spring weather.




Avalanche Summary

We could see a variety of avalanche problems resurface during spring weather. Milder weather and periods of sun or rain promote wet loose or slab avalanches. Snow near the mountain tops could form storm slabs or wind slabs in lee terrain features. Cornices are large and looming and are more prone to fail which each day of relatively mild weather. The likelihood of triggering buried weak layers also increases in the spring, as the snowpack progressively warms up.

Snowpack Summary

Small storm or wind slabs may linger in the high alpine, particularly where they sit on a hard melt-freeze crust. At treeline and lower alpine elevations, a hard melt-freeze crust is likely found on the snow surface. The snow surface will moisten during daytime warming, particularly on sun-exposed slopes and at lower elevations.

A weak layer of facets and potentially a melt-freeze crust from early January is between 100 and 200 cm deep in most areas.

Weak faceted grains may exist near the base of the snowpack, particularly in shallower snowpack areas.

Cornices are very large and looming along alpine ridges.

Weather Summary

The freezing level will rise to 1400 m during the heat of the day and drop to below valley bottom overnight until Monday. Saturday and Sunday are a mix of sun and cloud and Monday is mostly cloudy with light flurries.

More details can be found in the Mountain Weather Forecast.

Terrain and Travel Advice

  • Avoid steep slopes when air temperatures are warm, it is raining, or solar radiation is strong.
  • Avoid thin areas like rock outcroppings where you're most likely to trigger avalanches failing on deep weak layers.
  • Use extra caution around cornices: they are large, fragile, and can trigger slabs on slopes below.
  • Carefully evaluate steep lines for wind slabs.
  • Minimize exposure to overhead avalanche terrain, large avalanches may reach the end of runout zones.


Loose Wet

An icon showing Loose Wet

Wet loose or slab avalanches are possible on sun-exposed slopes and on all aspects at lower elevations during the heat of the day.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.


Possible - Likely

Expected Size

1 - 2

Deep Persistent Slabs

An icon showing Deep Persistent Slabs

Weak layers may be found in the middle and near the base of the snowpack, which may reawaken with the variety of weather we receive during the spring. Small avalanches and cornice falls have the potential to trigger these deeper layers. Human triggered avalanches are most likely in steep, shallow, and rocky terrain where the snowpack is relatively thin.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: Alpine.



Expected Size

2 - 3.5


An icon showing Cornices

Cornices are large at this time of year and will become more prone to fail as they warm up with spring weather. Stay well back from them when on ridgelines and limit your exposure when travelling on slopes below them, as their release is unpredictable. Cornice falls could trigger very large slab avalanches on slopes below.

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

Elevations: Alpine.



Expected Size

2 - 3

Valid until: May 6th, 2023 4:00PM