Avalanche Canada shorton, Avalanche Canada

South Columbia Avalanche Forecast

Jan 14th, 2020 5:00PM

The alpine rating is moderate, the treeline rating is moderate, and the below treeline rating is low. Known problems include Wind Slabs.

Stay warm and navigate around wind slabs.



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

Weather Forecast

TUESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy with isolated flurries and trace accumulations of snow, moderate wind from the southwest, alpine temperatures around -20 C.

WEDNESDAY: Cloudy with isolated flurries and up to 5 cm of low density snow, moderate wind with strong gusts from the southwest, alpine high temperatures around -15 C.

THURSDAY: 10-20 cm of low density snow, moderate wind from the south, alpine high temperatures around -12 C.

FRIDAY: 5-10 cm of low density snow overnight then clearing in the afternoon, light wind from the southwest, alpine high temperatures around -10 C.

Avalanche Summary

Wind slabs were reactive on Monday with several natural size 2 avalanches reported in alpine terrain and numerous smaller (size 1) wind slabs triggered by skiers. Dry loose avalanches have also been reported by riders in steep terrain over the past few days. Persistent slab activity has tapered off, as it has been over a week since any large persistent slab avalanches have been reported.

Snowpack Summary

As cold arctic air settles over the region expect wind slabs in unusual places due to northerly winds, while sheltered areas still have 20-50 cm of cold powder. A thin crust exists in many areas 50-100 cm below the surface, and beneath that is a layer of surface hoar that is roughly 80-120 cm deep in the Selkirks and 120-160 cm deep in the Monashees. A facet/crust layer from late November lingers near the bottom of the snowpack. These layers appear to be unreactive under the current conditions, but could reappear as problems in the future.

Terrain and Travel

  • Don't let the desire for deep powder pull you into high consequence terrain.
  • Recent wind has varied in direction so watch for wind slabs on all aspects.


Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs



Expected Size

1 - 2

Watch for areas where the low density snow has been blown into into unstable wind slabs, especially with strong southwest gusts forecast for Wednesday.


All aspects.


Alpine, Treeline.

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