Avalanche Canada rbuhler, Avalanche Canada

South Rockies Avalanche Forecast

Jan 9th, 2016 8:16AM

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

Variable wind effect is being reported across the region. Reactive hard or soft wind slabs may be found depending on where you are riding.



High - The weather pattern is stable

Weather Forecast

A ridge of high pressure is the dominant feature for the next couple days. On Sunday, mostly sunny conditions are expected with light to moderate northwest winds in the alpine and treeline temperatures around -10C in the afternoon. On Monday and Tuesday, a mix of sun and cloud is expected with moderate to strong westerly winds in the alpine and treeline temperatures around -10C.

Avalanche Summary

No new avalanches have been reported recently but several avalanches were reported in the Lizard region on Thursday and Friday. The primary problem in that region is wind slabs failing on the early January layer of surface hoar.

Snowpack Summary

The Avalanche Canada field team has been finding variable conditions across the region this week. Up to 10cm of new snow has fallen burying a layer of surface hoar in sheltered features. In the east of the region the snow surface is now widely wind affected with thin but stiff wind slabs in lee features at treeline and in the alpine. In areas that have seen less wind (a good indicator would be snow still hanging on the trees), these wind slabs may be softer and deeper. In either case, snow pit tests in wind loaded features show these slabs are failing under moderate loads and can propagate over wide distances. The early December crust can be found down around 60cm.  It is not currently expected to pose an avalanche problem but could wake-up in the future with substantial warming or heavy snow loading.


Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs



Expected Size

1 - 3
Recent tests suggest that wind slabs may be triggered by riders in the alpine and at treeline.  Watch out for hard slabs in heavily wind affected areas and deeper soft slabs sitting above surface hoar in more wind sheltered areas.
Today is not the day to set the record highmark.>Be aware of the potential for wide propagations due to the presence of hard windslabs.>Avoid open slopes and convex rolls at and below treeline where buried surface hoar may be preserved.>


All aspects.


Alpine, Treeline.

Valid until: Jan 10th, 2016 2:00PM