Issued: Jan 30th, 2024 4:00PM
Until cold temperatures lock in this warm and wet snowpack, dangerous avalanche conditions and poor riding quality will exist.
Sunday and Monday saw a natural avalanche cycle with avalanches on all aspects and elevations to size 3.
A fatal avalanche incident involving one snowmobiler occurred in the Hasler riding area on Saturday. The avalanche was triggered in a wind-loaded east-facing chute feature at treeline and ran approximately 250 m. It likely failed on a layer of facets buried earlier in January. For more details on this incident, see the Fatal Avalanche Incident report.
High freezing levels and rain have moistened the surface snow to 2500 m and wet, rain saturdated snow exists up to 2200 m.
A weak layer of facets exist down 30 to 60 cm and a prominent crust down 40 to 100 cm. The crust is reported to extend up to 1900 m in the Cariboos and up to 1600 m around Pine Pass. The stress of the new load (warm, wet upper snowpack) has produced large avalanches possibly failing on these layers.
In areas east of the Divide the snowpack is shallow and faceted with depths of 60 to 100 cm around treeline.
Partly cloudy, alpine temperatures near -3°C, south alpine wind 15 gusting to 40 km/h, freezing level around 1900 m.
Mostly cloudy with light rain/snow expected, southwest alpine wind 10 to 20 km/h, freezing level around 2000 m.
Cloudy with light rain/snow, alpine temperatures near 1°C, southeast alpine wind 20 km/h, freezing level rising to 1700 m.
Mostly cloudy, isolated flurries, alpine temperatures -2°C, southeast alpine wind 10 to 25 km/h, freezing level rising to 1300 m.
More details can be found in the Mountain Weather Forecast.
Terrain and Travel Advice
- Make conservative terrain choices and avoid overhead hazard.
- A moist or wet snow surface, pinwheeling and natural avalanches are all indicators of a weakening snowpack.
- Be aware of the potential for surprisingly large avalanches due to deeply buried weak layers.
Wet slab and wet loose avalanches are likely when the upper snowpack is saturated from rain and prolonged elevated freezing levels.
Aspects: All aspects.
Elevations: All elevations.
Sustained high freezing levels have increased the likelyhood of weak layers deeper in the snowpack becoming active.
Aspects: All aspects.
Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.
Valid until: Jan 31st, 2024 4:00PM