Avalanche Canada ghelgeson, Avalanche Canada

South Coast Avalanche Forecast

Jan 14th, 2020 3:00PM

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

It is uncertain how well the recent storm snow is bonding with the old surface. Best to give the snowpack time to stabilize and gain strength before committing to bigger avalanche terrain.



Low - Forecast snowfall amounts are uncertain.

Weather Forecast

We’re moving into a period where it’s one storm after the next for the foreseeable future and it should warm up a bit beginning Thursday.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Light west/northwest wind at most elevations, strong west wind at ridgetop, 1 to 5 cm of light density snow possible.

WEDNESDAY: Overcast, freezing level at valley bottom, moderate south/southwest wind, 5 to 15 cm of very light density snow possible during the day with potential for 20 to as much as 50 cm of snow Wednesday night, stay tuned for more details.

THURSDAY: Broken cloud cover, freezing level rising to 500 m, moderate to strong south/southwest wind, 15 to 20 cm of snow possible.

FRIDAY: Broken cloud cover, freezing level around 500 m, moderate southwest wind, 1 to 5 cm of snow possible.

Avalanche Summary

On Monday two small slabs were triggered on steep features near the summit of Hollyburn.

On Sunday storm slabs were quite touchy, more details in these MIN reports. Natural storm slab avalanches with crowns up to 40 cm in depth were also reported.

On Saturday, a few small (up to size 1.5) explosive triggered storm slab avalanches were reported.

Snowpack Summary

Up to 100 cm of snow has fallen over the last few days with moderate to strong wind first out of the south, then out of the north. The new snow rests on a hard melt hard melt-freeze crust below 1500 m and there may be places where there is surface hoar above the crust.  

Terrain and Travel

  • Continue to make conservative terrain choices while the storm snow settles and stabilizes.
  • Be aware of the potential for human triggerable storm slabs at lower elevations, even on small features.
  • Be aware of the potential for large avalanches due to the presence of a buried crust.


Storm Slabs

An icon showing Storm Slabs



Expected Size

1 - 2

Up to 100 cm of snow fell over the past few days which rests on a hard crust that is present below 1500 m in elevation. There may be pockets where there is surface hoar sitting on the crust too, but observations are quite limited at this time. The storm came in with moderate to strong wind first out of the south, then out of the north. Wind fueled storm slabs may remain sensitive to human triggering, especially near ridgecrest.


All aspects.


All elevations.

Valid until: Jan 15th, 2020 5:00PM