Avalanche Forecast

Issued: Apr 8th, 2023 4:00PM

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

Avalanche Canada bchristie, Avalanche Canada


Continually observe your local conditions and let that guide your terrain choices.

You may encounter different avalanche problems as you change elevation or aspect, and dynamic spring weather has resulted in variable snowpack conditions across the forecast area.




Avalanche Summary

On Saturday in the Fernie area, explosives avalanche control triggered several small (size 1-1.5) dry loose and storm slab avalanches in alpine terrain and treeline terrain. The lower elevation avalanches entrained loose wet snow as they travelled down the slope.

Other recent reports of avalanche activity have been limited to small (size 1) loose snow avalanches in steep, alpine features.

If you head out in the backcountry, let us know what you are seeing by submitting a report to the Mountain Information Network.

Snowpack Summary

In the Fernie area, 5-15 cm of new snow sits on the surface. In general, dry snow remains on shaded (northerly) slopes, and moist snow or thin crusts on solar aspects. Below treeline, expect to find moist snow or a surface crust on all aspects.

The mid-snowpack is generally well-settled.

The lower snowpack includes a layer of weak sugary crystals near the ground. This layer has not produced recent avalanche activity in this area, but professionals continue to monitor for signs of it becoming active.

Weather Summary

Saturday Night

Starting clear, ending cloudy. No new snow/rain expected. Freezing level around 1700 m. Moderate southwest ridgetop winds, trending to strong at higher elevations.


Sunny morning, cloudy afternoon. No new snow/rain expected. Freezing level rising to 2400 m. Moderate southwest ridgetop wind, trending to strong at higher elevations.


Cloudy. 20-30 mm of rain around the Fernie area, 10-20 mm elsewhere. Snow line starts the day at 2000m and rises to 2500. Moderate to strong southwest ridgetop wind, trending to extreme at high elevations.


Mostly cloudy. Rain continues overnight, 5-15 mm, 20-30 mm around Fernie. Snow line falls to 1500 m in the morning, and 1000 m by the end of the day, resulting 5 cm of snow. Moderate to strong southwest ridgetop wind.

More details can be found in the Mountain Weather Forecast.

Terrain and Travel Advice

  • Use caution above cliffs and terrain traps where even small avalanches may have severe consequences.
  • The more the snow feels like a slurpy, the more likely loose wet avalanches will become.
  • Pay attention to isolated alpine features as well as cross-loaded features at treeline.


Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs

Dry, soft snow persists at high elevations on shaded slopes. Moderate to strong southwest wind at treeline and above has the potential to form reactive windslabs in leeward terrain.

With rising freezing levels, and the potential for a sunny morning, avoid travelling on or under large, open slopes that are lit up by the sun.

Use extra caution below ridgecrests and in cross-loaded features. Watch for signs of instability like shooting cracks.

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

Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.



Expected Size

1 - 2.5

Loose Wet

An icon showing Loose Wet

Rising temperatures and an incoming wet storm on Sunday afternoon/evening will increase the chance of wet loose avalanches.

Watch for signs of a rapidly warming snowpack, like snow pinwheeling or snowballing down the slope, or surface snow that starts to look and feel like a slurpy. Loose wet avalanches will become larger and more likely as this slushy snow gets deeper.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: Treeline, Below Treeline.


Possible - Likely

Expected Size

1 - 2

Valid until: Apr 9th, 2023 4:00PM