Avalanche Canada ldreier, Avalanche Canada

Sea to Sky Avalanche Forecast

Jan 8th, 2020 4:00PM

The recent snow may remain sensitive to human triggering and it has loaded a weak snowpack in parts of the region. The snowpack still needs time to stabilize. 



Moderate - Uncertainty is due to how quickly the snowpack will recover and gain strength.

Weather Forecast

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Cloudy with clear periods, light northwest wind, alpine temperature -14 C, freezing level at valley bottom.

THURSDAY: Cloudy with clear periods and isolated flurries in the afternoon, moderate north west wind, alpine temperature -14 C, freezing level rising from valley bottom to 500 m in the afternoon.

FRIDAY: Cloudy with snowfall, accumulation 10 to 20 cm, moderate to strong southwest wind, alpine temperature -7 C, freezing level rising from valley bottom to 500 m.

SATURDAY: Cloudy with flurries, up to 10 cm snow accumulation overnight, moderate westerly wind, alpine temperature -8 C, freezing level around 500 m.

Avalanche Summary

On Tuesday several storm slabs up to size 2 and one size 2.5 were triggered with explosives, by skiers and a snowcat. Storm slabs were reactive to explosives on Monday, with large (size 2) avalanches being released. It is likely that a natural avalanche cycle occurred on Monday during the peak of the storm.

Snowpack Summary

Over 60 cm of snow accumulated in the region in the last couple days above 1500 m. The snow fell with strong south to southwest wind, forming sensitive storm slabs above 1500 m. The snow might have loaded a weak layer of feathery surface hoar buried around 100 to 150 cm.

In parts of the region near the bottom of the snowpack around 150 to 200 cm deep, sugary faceted grains and a hard melt-freeze crust exist from mid-November. This is is an indicative snowpack setup for large and destructive avalanches. The likelihood of human-triggered avalanches decreases as the layer gets deeper but the consequence of triggering it would be severe.

Terrain and Travel

  • Don't let the desire for deep powder pull you into high consequence terrain.
  • Make observations and assess conditions continually as you travel.
  • If triggered, storm slabs in-motion may step down to deeper layers and result in very large avalanches.

Valid until: Jan 9th, 2020 5:00PM