Banff Yoho & Kootenay National Park Avalanche Forecast

Issued: Mar 22nd, 2021 6:24PM

Mon Mar 22nd Current Conditions
Alpine Moderate Treeline Moderate Below Treeline Low
Tue Mar 23rd 2 Day Outlook
Alpine Moderate Treeline Moderate Below Treeline Low
Wed Mar 24th 3 Day Outlook
Alpine Moderate Treeline Low Below Treeline Low

The alpine rating is moderate, the treeline rating is moderate, and the below treeline rating is low. Known problems include Wind Slabs, Loose Dry and Storm Slabs.

The new snow has made for some great ski conditions but also increased the hazard, especially in places that got 25-35+ cm over the past few days. Use caution in steep lee areas and confined terrain where a small slide can have larger consequences.

Summary

Weather Forecast

Tuesday will start out cold and mostly clear with light west winds. Clouds will move in later in the day and winds will increase to the moderate range from the west. Treeline temperatures are expected to stay between -9 and -15 Celsius. No new snow is expected.

Snowpack Summary

10-35 cm of snow has fallen at treeline since March 19th with variable SW-NW winds. This storm snow sits over a sun crust on solar aspects, over a mix of surfaces on North aspects including facets and spotty surface hoar, and over a temperature crust at lower elevations. Minimal new snow at valley bottom with thin areas becoming isothermal.

Avalanche Summary

In Kootenay on Monday, Visitor Safety was able to ski cut a few  size 1-1.5 soft storm slabs on steep N aspects at treeline that failed down 20-35 cm on the March 19 interface of facets and surface hoar. Some dry loose avalanches up to size 1.5 were observed and reported in the alpine as well as several small cornice failures.

Confidence

Due to the number of field observations

Problems

Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs

Likelihood

Possible

Expected Size

1 - 1.5

Small isolated wind slabs can be found in lee areas of the alpine that could be triggered by skiers in steep terrain. On solar aspects these wind slabs may sit over a buried sun crust that can act as a sliding layer.

  • Be careful with wind loaded pockets, especially in steep confined alpine terrain.

Aspects:

North, North East, East.

Elevations:

Alpine.

Loose Dry

An icon showing Loose Dry

Likelihood

Possible

Expected Size

1 - 1.5

There has been enough recent snow to produce dry loose avalanches in steep gullies and couloirs over the past couple days. These could occur naturally with additional wind, or be triggered by skiers in steep terrain.

  • Be careful of loose dry sluffing in steep, confined or exposed terrain.

Aspects:

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

Elevations:

Alpine.

Storm Slabs

An icon showing Storm Slabs

Likelihood

Possible

Expected Size

1 - 1.5

In places with 25-35+ cm of storm snow over the March 19 interface of facets, spotty surface hoar or sun crust, some small soft slabs are failing with skier traffic in steep terrain. This is not as much of a problem in areas with less storm snow.

Aspects:

All aspects.

Elevations:

Alpine, Treeline.

Valid until: Mar 23rd, 2021 4:00PM

Forecast Trend

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