Avalanche Forecast

Issued: Apr 12th, 2023 4:00PM

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

Avalanche Canada cgarritty, Avalanche Canada


More new snow = touchy new avalanche problems. A localized storm over Wednesday night is expected to keep avalanche conditions in the region especially lively through Thursday. Expect any sustained solar exposure to quickly initiate natural avalanche activity.




Avalanche Summary

A serious avalanche incident occurred in the backcountry just east of Revelstoke on Wednesday. Details are expected to be posted on the MIN shortly.

Otherwise, reports from Monday and Tuesday included many more storm slab and wind slab avalanches, several that were noted for being triggered remotely (from a distance) and a significant number of avalanches attributed to the problematic late-March and early April failure planes discussed in our snowpack summary, now buried under the full depth of recent snowfall. The presence of surface hoar and facets in particular has been noted in some of the more prominent reports of touchy conditions from the past few days.

At least one deeper persistent slab was observed with a 100 cm crown fracture in the western Purcells.

Saturday and Sunday saw an overall increase in wind slab and storm slab activity as the storm touched down in the region. This MIN gives a good sense of the conditions initially at play.

Looking forward, further loading of new snow through Wednesday night will maintain active avalanche conditions for Thursday, with new storm and wind slabs likely, slightly deeper persistent interfaces still in question, and wet loose or even wet slab potential ramping up with daytime warming.

Snowpack Summary

This region is expected to receive a localized storm late in the day/evening Wednesday with accumulations of 20-30 cm.

A later pulse of the early week storm brought a variable trace to 30 cm of new snow to the region Tuesday night. In most areas below 2000 m these recent accumulations overlie a rain crust that formed mid-storm. At higher elevations it brought dry storm snow accumulations to totals around 30-60 cm (and counting).

All this snow overlies either a widespread melt-freeze crust buried April 7, a weak interface of faceted snow and surface hoar buried at the end of March, or some combination of the two. As surface instabilities settle out, both of these interfaces remain in question with numerous recent avalanches attributed to each and with the snowpack still adjusting to the load.

The mid-snowpack is generally strong but the lower snowpack is a different story. The November facets are still prominent 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

Wednesday night

Mainly cloudy with a localized storm bringing 20-30 cm of new snow. Light to moderate northwest winds.


Mainly sunny. Light west or southwest winds increasing in late afternoon. Treeline high temperatures around -1 with freezing levels to 1400-1600 m.


Cloudy with isolated flurries bringing a trace to 5 cm of new snow. Light southwest winds. Treeline high temperatures around 0 with freezing levels to around 1700 m.


Becoming cloudy. Light to moderate south winds increasing over the day and evening. Treeline high temperatures around 0 with freezing levels to 1800 m.

More details can be found in the Mountain Weather Forecast.

Terrain and Travel Advice

  • Use increased caution at all elevations. Storm snow is forming touchy slabs.
  • Watch for newly formed and reactive wind slabs as you transition into wind affected terrain.
  • Approach steep open slopes at and below treeline cautiously, buried surface hoar may exist.
  • Minimize exposure to sun-exposed slopes when the solar radiation is strong.
  • In areas where deep persistent slabs may exist, avoid shallow or variable depth snowpacks and unsupported terrain features.


Storm Slabs

An icon showing Storm Slabs

A localized storm is expected to rapidly form a fresh storm slab problem in this region over Wednesday night. Large storm slab or wind slab avalanches may also be capable of stepping down or fracturing at more deeply buried storm interfaces to create larger, more destructive avalanches.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: All elevations.


Very Likely

Expected Size

1 - 2.5

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.



Expected Size

2.5 - 3.5

Loose Wet

An icon showing Loose Wet

Surface snow will destabilize and may avalanche naturally with daytime warming and especially solar exposure.

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

Elevations: All elevations.



Expected Size

1 - 1.5

Valid until: Apr 13th, 2023 4:00PM