Avalog Logo

Parks Canada Conrad Janzen, Parks Canada

Banff Yoho & Kootenay National Park Avalanche Forecast

May 5th, 2019 4:33PM

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

Regular avalanche forecasts are now finished. Use our weather stations, the ACMG Mountain Condition Reports, and Mountain Information Network to stay up to date on current conditions, or call Visitor Safety at 403-762-1470 with specific questions.

Summary

Weather Forecast

Go to www.avalanche.ca/weather/forecast for the current weather forecast.

Snowpack Summary

New snow instabilities are generally settling rapidly and alpine N aspects remain cold and dry. Concern remains for alpine solar aspects where April facets between crusts have been reactive in the past week. Treeline and below a spring melt freeze snowpack exists with crusts in the AM and increasing hazard in the PM depending on temperatures.

Avalanche Summary

As of May 5th, loose wet avalanches with daytime warming on solar aspects and lower elevations, and a few wind and storm slabs in the alpine up to size 2 were reported in the past week. Increasing temperatures in the next weeks will lead to increased avalanche avalanche activity and cornice failures especially during the hottest parts of the day.

Confidence

Problems

Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs

Likelihood

Possible

Expected Size

1 - 2

Any significant storms or increased winds will redistribute soft snow in the alpine and form wind slabs in lee areas. Watch for wind loading when entering steeper, more committing ski lines or climbing alpine routes.

  • Be careful with wind loaded pockets, especially near ridge crests and roll-overs.

Aspects:

North, North East, East.

Elevations:

Alpine.

Loose Wet

An icon showing Loose Wet

Likelihood

Likely

Expected Size

1 - 1.5

If the sun comes out for any length of time or daytime temperatures rise above freezing, expect loose wet avalanches out of steep terrain. Cornice failures will also increase with warm temperatures.

  • Daytime warming will weaken surface layers, plan your day around being back to the trailhead early.
  • Minimize exposure to big slopes with cornices, especially during the heat of the day.

Aspects:

South East, South, South West, West.

Elevations:

Alpine, Treeline.

Persistent Slabs

An icon showing Persistent Slabs

Likelihood

Possible - Unlikely

Expected Size

1 - 2

Though not widespread, this layer of facets over crusts from mid April has been reactive in the alpine for a couple weeks and may persist for the next week or two. Some deeper persistent layers may also wake up as temperatures climb later in spring.

  • Dig down to find and test weak layers before committing to a line.
  • Watch for signs of instability such as whumpfing, or cracking.

Aspects:

East, South East, South, South West, West.

Elevations:

Alpine.

Valid until: May 6th, 2019 4:33PM