Avalanche Forecast

Issued: May 4th, 2023 4:00PM

The alpine rating is considerable, the treeline rating is moderate, and the below treeline rating is below threshold. Known problems include Storm Slabs, 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

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

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

Friday's freezing level rises to 2000 m with increasing clouds and late afternoon and overnight rain. Saturday's freezing level declines to 1500 m with clearing skies. Sunday is cloudy with light rain or snow and a freezing level near 1500 m.

More details can be found in the Mountain Weather Forecast.

Terrain and Travel Advice

  • Continue to make conservative terrain choices while the storm snow settles and stabilizes.
  • Carefully evaluate steep lines for wind slabs.
  • 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.
  • Minimize exposure to overhead avalanche terrain, large avalanches may reach the end of runout zones.
  • Avoid steep slopes when air temperatures are warm, it is raining, or solar radiation is strong.


Storm Slabs

An icon showing Storm Slabs

Recent snow and strong southerly wind likely formed new storm slabs and wind slabs. Assess for slabs in high consequence or steep terrain before committing yourself.

Wet avalanches are possible on sun-exposed slopes during the heat of the day and on all aspects during rain.

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 5th, 2023 4:00PM