South Rockies Avalanche Forecast
Jan 15th, 2020 4:00PM
The riding in wind sheltered areas at low elevations will be blower with 10-20 cm of fresh through the day. If you decide to venture towards the alpine, pay attention to where you start to encounter the wind. It will likely be building reactive new slabs from the fresh snow.
Wednesday night: Cloudy with clear periods and isolated flurries up to 5 cm of new snow. Light to moderate southwest winds, strong at ridgetop. Alpine low around -20 C.
Thursday: Mostly cloudy with flurries bringing 10-20 cm of new snow. Light to moderate southwest winds, strong at ridgetop. Alpine high around -12.
Friday: Flurries bringing 5-15 cm of new snow overnight, then mix of sun and cloud with isolated flurries over the day. Light to moderate southwest winds, strong at ridgetop. Alpine high around -8.
Saturday: Mix of sun and cloud with isolated flurries bringing a trace of new snow. Light to moderate southwest winds. Alpine high around -10.
Avalanche activity for most of the week has been limited to skier triggered loose dry sluffing up to size 1. On Monday, a large natural audible was reported but visibility was limited. Reports from the weekend consisted of windslab avalanches - skier controlled size 1, and explosive controlled size 1.5-2.5.
Looking forward, windslabs will likely become less reactive as they lose cohesion in the cold temperatures. In sheltered areas, unconsolidated new snow will likely continue to be reactive to human triggering as dry loose sluffs.
30 cm of snow since the weekend has seen relatively little wind effect outside of exposed alpine features, and has been well preserved by cold temperatures. It sits over widespread windslab in exposed areas at all elevations.
A well consolidated mid-snowpack overlies a generally weak basal snowpack. The bottom 10-20 cm of the snowpack consists of facets and deteriorating crusts. This basal layer has gradually been gaining strength, but potential still exists for large triggers in thin, rocky areas to trigger avalanches at this depth.
Terrain and Travel
- Sheltered slopes at lower elevations will offer the best riding.
- Be alert to conditions that change with elevation, aspect and exposure to wind.
- Storm snow and wind is forming touchy slabs. Use caution in lee areas in the alpine and treeline.
- Be aware of the potential for loose avalanches in steep terrain where snow hasn't formed a slab.
Valid until: Jan 16th, 2020 5:00PM