Avalanche Canada rbuhler, Avalanche Canada

Lizard Range and Flathead Avalanche Forecast

Dec 17th, 2016 3:14PM

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

Wind slabs continue to be the primary concern. Watch for signs of recent wind loading and use extra caution in wind exposed terrain.



Moderate - Timing, track, or intensity of incoming weather system is uncertain on Monday

Weather Forecast

On Sunday, mostly cloudy conditions are expected with the potential for light flurries. Alpine winds are expected to be strong from the west to northwest and treeline temperatures are forecast to be around -15C. Light snowfall is forecast for Monday with models currently showing 5-15 cm. Alpine winds should remain strong but shift to the southwest and treeline temperatures will climb to around -10C. A break is expected Monday overnight before another pulse of light snowfall on Tuesday.

Avalanche Summary

On Friday, a few natural size 1 loose dry avalanches were observed out of steep terrain.  On Thursday, a natural size 2 wind slab occurred in the Corbin area. This occurred at 2000m elevation on a northeast aspect as a result of recently strong southwest winds. Check out the MIN post for more details and a photo. Ongoing strong winds are expected to continue on Sunday.  Recent winds have been from a variety of directions and wind slabs should be expected on most aspects in wind exposed terrain.

Snowpack Summary

Up to 30 cm of low density storm snow from last weekend has been redistributed into wind slabs in exposed terrain. Widespread surface faceting has been reported as well as surface hoar up to 20 mm in sheltered areas. In sheltered areas, there is also a layer of surface hoar down 20-30 cm. The mid pack is reported to be well settled. Two crusts buried in mid and early November are down 50-80 cm and 80-110 cm, respectively, and reports suggest that these crusts are currently well bonded to the surrounding snow.


Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs


Likely - Possible

Expected Size

1 - 2
Ongoing strong wind is expected to continue to develop wind slabs in exposed terrain. Watch for signs of wind loading and use extra caution in exposed terrain on all aspects.
Recent wind has varied in direction so watch for wind slabs on all aspects.Use ridges or ribs to avoid pockets of wind loaded snow.Avoid slopes where the snow feels stiff or slabby.


All aspects.


Alpine, Treeline.

Valid until: Dec 18th, 2016 2:00PM