Jasper National Park Avalanche Forecast
May 13th, 2019 5:03PM
Regular avalanche forecasts are now finished. Use our Weather Stations, the Mountain Conditions Report, and the Mountain Information Network to stay up to date on current conditions, or ask for Visitor Safety at 780-852-6155 with specific questions.
An overview is available: https://www.avalanche.ca/pages/static-page/spring-conditions
Generally, danger increases with daytime warming, & decreases with cold, clear nights. A dry winter snowpack may persist on shady, high alpine slopes.
As the snow thins, crevasse bridges weaken. Use extra care in thin wind-affected areas, eg the Athabasca Glacier.
Activity increases with rising temps, especially during warm and/or sunny afternoons. Use extra caution if the surface hasn't refrozen overnight - clear nights help. Watch for Wind Slabs in the alpine, particularly following snow or rain. Use extra caution if these form above crusts - this often happens into Summer on high peaks, eg Mt Athabasca.
When the sun comes out, temperatures soar above freezing, or rain falls, expect Wet Loose avalanches and Cornice failures. This is especially relevant in steep, high consequence terrain, such as gully climbs on Mt. Andromeda and Mt. Edith Cavell.
- Avoid snow face or gully climbs that are catching sun, or after rain.
- Use caution above cliffs and terrain traps where small avalanches may have severe consequences.
Deep Persistent Slabs
Crust and facets from a prolonged Winter persist. These could remain active in the alpine into the Summer season, waking up with rising temperatures or Cornice falls. Watch for slabs on large alpine features, such as the Ramp on Mt. Athabasca.
- If off-trail travel is deep and punchy, minimize exposure to avalanche terrain, including runouts.
- Travel early before the heat of the day. Minimize travel below slopes threatened by cornices.
Any new snow falling high in the Alpine can quickly become Wind Slabs at any time of the year. This has been a problem in the past on terrain like the Silverhorn and Ramp routes on Mt. Athabasca, and on other high peaks, such as Mt. Columbia.
- New snow will require several days to settle and stabilize.
- Watch for signs of instability such as whumpfing, or cracking.
Valid until: May 14th, 2019 5:03PM