Avalanche Forecast Kananaskis Country, Alberta Parks

Friday 1st February 2019

Avalanche Danger Ratings Fri 1st Feb 3:01PM Danger Ratings Alpine: High Danger Ratings Treeline: Considerable Danger Ratings Below Treeline: Moderate Wind Slabs Wind Slabs Deep Persistent Slabs Deep Persistent Slabs Loose Dry Loose Dry

Avalanche Canada Forecaster: matt.mueller

Date Issued:

Valid Until:

20-30cm of snow is on its way. While not a huge amount, we are expecting a brief natural cycle tomorrow. 

Confidence

High -

Weather Forecast

All forecasts are saying snow is on the way. Amounts vary, but 30cm seems to a common number for the Spray area. Unfortunately moderate to strong southwest winds will accompany the snow. As for temperatures, they will remain warm until later in the week end. Tomorrow's high is -5C. Today saw above zero temps on the road.

Avalanche Summary

Nothing noted today due to poor visibility.

Snowpack Summary

The leading edge of the approaching storm has so far given us only 4cm near the divide. It is exactly what the forecast said would happen (don't hear that much!). That's giving us confidence in there being a further 20cm by tomorrow. The forecasted winds are also correct. As of this afternoon ridgetop winds were around 50km/hr from the SW. Windslabs are building on any easterly aspect in the alpine and treeline areas. How well these slabs stick to the underlying windslabs is the question. Given how long the slabs were exposed for, it may be a poor bond at first. Treeline saw little change today, but again, if there are new slabs by tomorrow expect them to be poorly bonded due to surface facetting. In general, this 20cm would be considered a rapid load. The Jan 17th surface hoar is isolated, but where it exists, expect it to be down 30cm and possibly reactive. Deeper layers will be stressed trying to support the weight of a 20-30cm storm.

Wind Slabs Wind Slabs

Likelihood

Very Likely - Likely

Expected Size

1 - 2

The fresh windslabs will be most concerning tomorrow. Expect a poor bond in the alpine due to the hard slab.

Caution in lee and cross-loaded terrain near ridge crests.New snow will require several days to settle and stabilize.

Aspects: North, North East, East, South East, South.

Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.

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Deep Persistent Slabs Deep Persistent Slabs

Likelihood

Likely - Possible

Expected Size

1.5 - 3

Be aware that this new snow load will stress the deeper layers. There is a bridging effect with the firmer alpine snowpack, but the treeline snow has less density, meaning it will be more stressed while it adjusts.

Carefully evaluate and use caution around thin snowpack areas.Be aware of the potential for full depth avalanches due to weak layers at the base of the snowpack.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.

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Loose Dry Loose Dry

Likelihood

Likely

Expected Size

1 - 2

There is a chance of loose dry avalanches being a problem. Gullies in the alpine and steep treeline features are where it could pose a risk.

Choose ice climbs that are not exposed to avalanches from above.

Aspects: North, North East, East, South East, South.

Elevations: Alpine.

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