Avalanche Forecast Northwest Inland
Monday 11th February 2019
You're likely to find a mix of larger old wind slabs and smaller, more reactive recent slabs as you enter wind-affected terrain. But why bother! The better, safer skiing and riding can be found in sheltered areas at lower elevations.
Monday night: Mainly clear. Strong east winds.Tuesday: Sunny. Moderate to strong east winds easing over the day. Alpine high temperatures around -19 and increasing overnight.Wednesday: Cloudy with sunny periods and isolated flurries with a trace of new snow, increasing a bit overnight. Light variable winds. Alpine high temperatures around -12.Thursday: Mainly cloudy with scattered flurries and a trace of new snow. New snow totals of 5-10 cm. Light to moderate east winds. Alpine high temperatures around -15.
Winds have been driving avalanche danger at higher elevations, redistributing recent snow accumulations into reactive wind slabs. Skiers reported small natural wind slab releases, whumpfing, and shooting cracks on Thursday and Friday. A small (size 1) ski cut wind slab at 2100 metres was reported on Sunday.
In the alpine and upper treeline, the upper snowpack is composed of successive layers of aging, wind-affected storm snow layers. Our most recent new snow is likely to have been redistributed into wind slabs on southwest aspects by predominantly northeast winds. The upper snowpack has also been faceting (becoming sugary) under the influence of recent cold temperatures at all elevations.Sheltered areas at lower elevations still hold around 20-40 cm of low density snow from a couple of recent snowfall events. Below this more recent snow, another 20-40 cm of older, faceted (sugary) storm snow overlies a widespread melt-freeze crust. In the central and northern parts of the region, it may sit on feathery surface hoar crystals in sheltered terrain at all elevations. In the south of the region, the remainder of the snowpack has been reported as well-settled.Around and north of Hazelton, 50 to 100 cm of snow may overlie two weak layers of surface hoar or sugary faceted grains.
1 - 2
More strong easterly outflow winds means our recent snow will continue being redistributed into new wind slabs on lee slopes - especially at higher elevations.
Back off from your line if the snow has become stiff or slabby from wind.Be careful around wind loaded pockets near ridge crests and roll-overs.Watch for patterns of wind loading if you venture into wind affected terrain.
Aspects: North, South, South West, West, North West.
Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.