Issued: Feb 9th, 2024 4:00PM
Expect dry loose running fast in steep terrain due to the buried crust.
Good skiing in the alpine rapidly deteriorates below 2000m with moist snow, old avalanche debris and a record low snowpack.
Midday on Wednesday, a cycle of natural and skier triggered loose dry avalanches were observed in the Connaught valley.
A group bootpacking a couloir on the S side of Avalanche Mtn triggered a sz 2.5-3 avalanche yesterday. Use caution in this extreme terrain, where the snowpack might be variable and weak.
Spring-like temperatures and rain last week triggered a widespread avalanche cycle. Many avalanches gouged to ground in gully features and reached the valley floor.
15-20cm of new snow sits over a robust crust that formed during recent warm weather. This crust becomes thin and tapers out above 2500m.
Below 2000m the new snow has become moist and heavy, as it cools there will be a breakable surface crust. This, plus refrozen avalanche debris and shallow snowpack hazards make for RUGGED travel below treeline
Warm temperatures have rounded and strengthened the mid and lower snowpack.
A light system approaches with flurries on Sat & new snow Sun/Mon.
Tonight: Clear periods, No precip, Alp low -12°C, light winds, Freezing Level (FZL) valley bottom.
Sat: Mainly cloudy, isolated flurries, Alp high -7°C, light SW winds, FZL 1000m.
Sun: 10cm, Alp high -6°C, SW wind 15 km/hr, FZL 1300m.
Mon: 5cm, Alp high -5°C, , FZL 1500m.
Terrain and Travel Advice
- Even brief periods of direct sun could produce natural avalanches.
- Loose avalanches may start small but they can grow and push you into dangerous terrain.
- Watch for wind-loaded pockets especially around ridgecrest and in extreme terrain.
20-40 cm of light snow is triggerable in steep terrain. This problem is more reactive where a crust below provides a good bed surface. Expect natural loose dry activity when the sun pops out!
Aspects: All aspects.
Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.
New snow accompanied by moderate winds formed soft wind slabs on leeward and cross loaded features in the alpine. This windslab is bonding poorly to the Feb 3 layer down 20-30. Where this windslab sits on a crust, it is particularly reactive and has the potential to run far.
Aspects: All aspects.
Valid until: Feb 10th, 2024 4:00PM