Issued: Jan 26th, 2024 4:00PM
Wind slabs sitting over a weak layer may become increasingly reactive as temperatures start to rise this weekend.
A few wind slab avalanches were reported east of Prince George on Thursday. They were skier-controlled size 1.5 on steep north-facing convex rolls, running on the January facet layer.
Observations are limited in the region. If you go out in the backcountry, please consider sharing your observations on the Mountain Information Network (MIN).
Recent snow has been redistributed by wind at upper elevations. At lower elevations, a thin crust or moist snow may be found at the surface.
20-40 cm of snow sits over a layer of facets formed during the mid January cold snap. Bonding at this interface varies through the region.
A prominent crust is found 30 to 50 cm deep. It extends up to 1900 m in the Cariboos and up to 1400 m around Pine Pass. In the Sugarbowl area, a layer of small surface hoar or facets has been observed near the crust.
The midpack is generally strong and well bonded, except for areas east of the Divide, where the snowpack is shallow and faceted with depths of 60 to 100 cm around treeline.
Mostly cloudy with flurries bringing a trace to 5 cm of snow. Southwest alpine wind 30-50 km/h. Treeline temperature 0 °C. Freezing level 1500 m.
A mix of sun and cloud. Southwest alpine wind 30-50 km/h. Treeline temperature +2 °C. Freezing level 2000 m.
Up to 10 cm overnight then a mix of sun and cloud. Southwest alpine wind 40-60 km/h. Treeline temperature +2 °C. Freezing level 2000 m.
A mix of sun and cloud. Southwest alpine wind 50-70 km/h. Treeline temperature +5 °C. Freezing level 2500-3000 m.
More details can be found in the Mountain Weather Forecast.
Terrain and Travel Advice
- Be careful with wind slabs, especially in steep, unsupported and/or convex terrain features.
- Extra caution for areas experiencing rapidly warming temperatures for the first time.
- A moist or wet snow surface, pinwheeling and natural avalanches are all indicators of a weakening snowpack.
Wind has transported recent snow into wind slabs on north to east aspects at upper elevations. Wind slabs sit over a weak layer of facets and may be sensitive to trigger and propagate widely.
Aspects: North, North East, East, South East, North West.
Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.
Loose wet avalanches will become increasingly likely as temperatures rise above freezing.
Aspects: All aspects.
Elevations: Below Treeline.
Valid until: Jan 27th, 2024 4:00PM