Issued: Jan 21st, 2024 4:00PM
Variable freezing levels bring a mix of snow and rain. Take extra caution in areas where the snow remains dry, or is seeing rain for the first time.
On Thursday, our Field Team skier triggered several wind slabs (size 1-2) from alpine and treeline terrain near Mount Cokely. Read more in this MIN.
We suspect a widespread natural avalanche cycle occurred on Friday with heavy loading from snow, rain and wind.
If you head into the backcountry, please consider submitting a MIN report.
Rain has impacted the snowpack in most areas, leaving the surface wet and sloppy. Dry snow may prevail in the alpine, and will have been redistributed by strong southerly winds. The transition zone between these areas, around the freezing level, has a breakable crust with moist to wet snow above and below it.
A weak facet/crust layer can be found down 50 to 100 cm. The remainder of the snowpack is strong, with numerous hard melt-freeze crusts.
Treeline snow depth ranges from 100 to 180 cm. Snow depth diminishes rapidly at low elevations where there has been more rainfall.
Cloudy with mixed precipitation. An average of 10 cm of snow at higher elevations, possibly up to 25 cm on the West Coast. Alpine wind south, 30 to 50 km/h. Treeline temperature 1 °C. Freezing level 1500 m.
Cloudy with rain, 5 to 10 cm of snow at higher elevations. Alpine wind southwest, 30 to 40 km/h. Treeline temperature 3 °C. Freezing level 1500 m,
Cloudy with rain, 2 to 6 cm of snow at higher elevations. Alpine wind south, 35 to 50 km/h. Treeline temperature 3 °C. Freezing level falling to 1200 m.
Cloudy with rain, 10 to 20 cm of snow at higher elevations. Alpine wind south, 50 to 80 km/h. Treeline temperature 2 °C. Freezing level 1200 m.
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.
- The more the snow feels like a slurpy, the more likely loose wet avalanches will become.
- Avoid terrain traps such as gullies and cliffs where the consequence of any avalanche could be serious.
New wind slabs are likely forming with the new snow, they could overlay a crust or light dry snow at higher elevations.
Aspects: North, North East, East, West, North West.
Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.
Fluctuating freezing levels with continued snow and rain will create wet snow surface conditions, this combined with the underlying crust could create opportunity for continued wet loose avalanche activity.
Aspects: All aspects.
Elevations: Treeline, Below Treeline.
A weak layer of facets overlying a crust exists down 50 to 100 cm. This layer is most likely to be an issue in wind-loaded, high alpine terrain where the recent storm snow remains dry.
Aspects: All aspects.
Valid until: Jan 22nd, 2024 4:00PM