Avalanche Canada cgarritty, Avalanche Canada

Lizard Range and Flathead Avalanche Forecast

Jan 9th, 2020 4:00PM

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

Our recent snow is on a positive stabilizing trend, but forecast strong winds will maintain elevated danger on Friday. Seek out sheltered low density snow for the best quality and safest skiing and riding.

Summary

Confidence

High -

Weather Forecast

Thursday night: Clear periods. Light northwest winds, increasing.

Friday: Increasing cloud with isolated flurries and a trace of new snow, continuing overnight. Strong southwest winds. Alpine high temperatures around -10.

Saturday: Mainly cloudy with isolated flurries and a trace of new snow, continuing overnight. Light to moderate southwest winds. Alpine high temperatures around -7.

Sunday: Mainly cloudy with isolated flurries and a trace to 5 cm of new snow, increasing overnight. Moderate south winds. Alpine high temperatures around -10.

Avalanche Summary

Reports of avalanche activity in the Fernie area on Wednesday showed a continuation of the previous day's conditions, with explosives control yielding numerous storm slab release from size 2 (arge) to size 3 (very large).

Tuesday's reports showed numerous storm slabs releasing naturally as well as with remote triggers from skier traffic, and with explosives. Avalanches ranged from size 1 to size 2.. The bulk of this activity was observed on north to east aspects.

Looking forward, the recent snow should begin to form a more reliable bond with the old surface as our slab problems become increasingly limited to wind-loaded areas at higher elevations.

Snowpack Summary

The recent storm brought about 40-70 cm of new snow to the region over the early part of the week. The new snow buried recent widespread wind affected snow that extended well below treeline.

Several crusts layers exist in the mid to upper snowpack as a result of recent warming and rain events. These have not been identified as bed surfaces or failure planes in recent widespread avalanche activity.

The lower snowpack consists of weak faceted snow and decomposing crusts but has not been an active avalanche problem recently.

Terrain and Travel

  • Avoid freshly wind loaded terrain features.
  • Choose low-angled, sheltered terrain where new snow hasn't been wind-affected.

Problems

Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs

Likelihood

Likely

Expected Size

1 - 2

Heavy snowfall over the early week has been forming a strengthening bond with the underlying surface, but wind loaded areas still harbour unstable slabs. Friday's forecast calls for strong winds that are likely to increase this problem over the day.

Aspects:

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

Elevations:

Alpine, Treeline.

Valid until: Jan 10th, 2020 5:00PM