Avalanche Canada swerner, Avalanche Canada

South Rockies Avalanche Forecast

Dec 4th, 2016 3:16PM

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

Some parts of the region have received up to 20 cm of storm snow accompanied by strong winds. Elevated avalanche danger may exist in your local riding area, so be alert to changes in the snowpack at higher elevations.




Weather Forecast

Unsettled conditions continue overnight into Monday as an upper trough moves from the north bringing flurries tonight. A cool arctic air mass will dominate the region by Tuesday bringing colder, dryer conditions. Monday: Mostly cloudy with flurries. Alpine temperatures near -17 with light winds from the northeast. Tuesday/ Wednesday: Mix of sun and cloud. Alpine temperatures dropping to -22 with light winds from the north.

Avalanche Summary

No recent avalanche observations have been reported, however; I suspect new wind slabs formed with an additional 5-25 cm of new snow and strong southwest winds. Cracking and whumphing felt below your feet/ skis is a good indicator of unstable snow. Loose dry sluffs from stepper slopes may have the potential to knock you off your feet so watch for terrain traps below.

Snowpack Summary

Early season snowpack observations are still very limited in the region but the threshold for avalanches is expected to have been exceeded at treeline and in the alpine. Some parts of the region to the east may have received up to 20 cm of new snow in the past 24hrs. This new snow may be sifted into new wind slabs on leeward slopes or burying old snow surfaces and hard wind slab. This suggests wind slabs should be on your radar at treeline elevations and in the alpine. Kananaskis Country to the north and Waterton to the south of the region is currently reporting 30-50 cm of snow overlying the mid-November crust layer. Conditions are likely similar in the South Rockies. 


Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs


Likely - Possible

Expected Size

1 - 2
Watch for wind slabs at higher elevations and immediately below ridge crests. Cracking and whumphing are indicators of wind affected and potentially unstable snow.
Be careful with wind loaded pockets, especially near ridge crests and roll-overs.Be alert to conditions that change with elevation.


North, North East, East, South East.


Alpine, Treeline.

Valid until: Dec 5th, 2016 2:00PM