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South Columbia Avalanche Forecast

Jan 13th, 2020 5:00PM

Deep low density snow offers great riding, but closely monitor the new snow to watch or signs of wind slab or dry loose avalanche problems.



Moderate - Uncertainty is due to the extreme variability of wind effect on the snowpack.

Weather Forecast

MONDAY NIGHT: Clear, light wind from the west, alpine temperatures drop to -25 C.

TUESDAY: Mix of sun and cloud with some isolated flurries to the south, light wind from the west, alpine high temperatures around -20 C.

WEDNESDAY: Mix of sun and cloud, light wind from the south, alpine high temperatures around -18 C.

THURSDAY: Cloudy with scattered flurries and 5-10 cm of snow, moderate wind from the south, alpine high temperatures around -15 C.

Avalanche Summary

Accumulations of low density snow over the weekend resulted in a mix of human triggered storm slab, wind slab, and dry loose avalanches. They were typically small (size 1), although some larger (size 2) natural and explosive triggered avalanches were also reported. Over the past week there have been a few reports of larger (size 2-3) naturally-triggered persistent slab avalanches. Most of these have been in the Selkirk Range on all aspects in alpine terrain. One skier triggered slab avalanche (size 1.5) was reported on Sunday that failed on the crust layer 50 cm below the surface on a northwest aspect in the Valhallas.

Snowpack Summary

As cold arctic air settles over the region expect wind slabs in unusual places due to recent valley winds from the north, while sheltered areas still have 20-50 cm of soft powder. A thin crust exists in many areas 50-100 cm below the surface, and beneath that is a layer of surface hoar. This layer is roughly 80-120 cm deep in the Selkirks and 120-150 cm deep in the Monashees. A facet/crust layer from late November lingers near the bottom of the snowpack. These deeper layers have been culprits in a few large avalanches over the past two weeks.

Terrain and Travel

  • Approach steep, open and/or sparsely treed slopes cautiously.
  • Recent wind has varied in direction so watch for wind slabs on all aspects.

Valid until: Jan 14th, 2020 5:00PM