Avalanche Forecast

Issued: Jan 10th, 2024 4:00PM

The alpine rating is moderate, the treeline rating is moderate, and the below treeline rating is moderate. Known problems include Wind Slabs and Persistent Slabs.

Avalanche Canada zryan, Avalanche Canada


If the wind picks up on Thursday, treat danger as CONSIDERABLE and expect to find reactive wind slabs.

Cold exposure is a major concern for backcountry travelers (read more in this blog).




Avalanche Summary

On Tuesday, operators reported numerous natural, human, and explosive-triggered storm slab avalanches, up to size 3 on north and east aspects in the alpine and treeline.

Last Saturday, natural persistent slab avalanches were reported to size 3 in the Whistler backcountry.

Looking forward to Thursday, backcountry travelers should watch for evidence of wind transport and be cautious in wind-loaded areas.

Snowpack Summary

30 to 50 cm of recent storm snow overlies wind-affected surface in exposed areas and in sheltered areas a weak layer of surface hoar.

A melt-freeze crust is found down 60 to 80 cm and becomes thin and variable above 1900 m.

Another crust from early Dec is down 80-150 cm. A few large avalanches observed in the region on January 6 are suspected to have failed on this layer.

Snowpack depths are 120-230 cm around treeline and decrease rapidly below.

Weather Summary

Wednesday Night

Mainly cloudy with isolated flurries. Northerly winds 30 to 70 km/h. Treeline temperatures drop to -10 C.


A mix of sun and cloud with isolated flurries. Northerly winds 20 to 40 km/h. Treeline temperatures drop to -18 C.


Sunny with no new snow. Northerly winds 20 to 50 km/h. Treeline temperatures drop to -23 C.


Sunny with no new snow. Northerly winds 15 to 30 km/h. Treeline temperatures around -20 C.

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.
  • Watch for signs of instability like whumpfing, hollow sounds, shooting cracks or recent avalanches.
  • Be aware of the potential for surprisingly large avalanches due to deeply buried weak layers.


Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs

Winds have shifted to the north and may be forming fresh, reactive slabs in a reverse-loading pattern and at lower elevations than is typical.

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

Elevations: All elevations.


Possible - Likely

Expected Size

1 - 3

Persistent Slabs

An icon showing Persistent Slabs

A weak layer down 80 to 150 cm is suspected to have been the culprit of recent large avalanches in the region. This layer may take a few days to adjust to the new snow load. Avoid thin, shallow areas where triggering is more likely.

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

Elevations: Alpine.


Unlikely - Possible

Expected Size

2 - 3.5

Valid until: Jan 11th, 2024 4:00PM