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Avalanche Canada matt.mueller, Avalanche Canada

Kananaskis Country Avalanche Forecast

Feb 21st, 2019 3:00PM

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

Alpine winds will pick up again tonight. If the spike lasts for awhile, expect new windslabs and possibly a jump to considerable in the alpine. Be prepared for a quick change.

Summary

Confidence

High -

Weather Forecast

Another chilly morning is expected. Lows will be around -15 to -20. Daytime highs will be around -7. No snow to speak of, alpine winds will pick up during the day and expect light cloud cover for most of the day.

Avalanche Summary

Nothing today.

Snowpack Summary

No major change in the region's snowpack overnight. We did receive a hint of snow, but in the grand scheme of things, 4cm is irrelevant. What is relevant though is the spike in alpine winds from a few days ago. The alpine has isolated, new windslabs on north to south aspects. The cold north wind caused some reverse loading. The slabs tend to be near ridges, and not too big. Treeline snow is generally facetted and weak with a hint of the windslabs from the last week. These slabs are less reactive as the bond gets better with the layers below. Valley bottom snow is very weak. Breaking a new trail is a lot of work!

Problems

Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs

Likelihood

Possible - Unlikely

Expected Size

1 - 2
Recent winds led to wind slab development in the Alpine and just into Treeline. Watch for unusual loading patterns due to northerly winds.
Caution in lee and cross-loaded terrain near ridge crests.Avoid travelling in areas that have been reverse loaded by winds.

Aspects:

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

Elevations:

Alpine.

Deep Persistent Slabs

An icon showing Deep Persistent Slabs

Likelihood

Possible - Unlikely

Expected Size

1 - 2.5
A recent avalanche on this layer suggests it is on the verge of waking up and becoming a problem again. New wind loading may put enough weight/stress on the snowpack to cause an avalanche.
Be aware of the potential for full depth avalanches due to deeply buried weak layers.Be aware of the potential for wide propagations due to the presence of hard windslabs.

Aspects:

All aspects.

Elevations:

Alpine, Treeline.

Valid until: Feb 22nd, 2019 2:00PM