Avalanche Canada esharp, Avalanche Canada

South Rockies Avalanche Forecast

Jan 8th, 2016 7:13AM

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.



Moderate - The weather pattern is stable

Weather Forecast

A descending artic front is going to dominate the weather for the next few days with a cooling and clearing trend.  A mix of sun and cloud with mainly dry conditions are expected.  Winds are forecast to be light westerlies the period with the freezing level hanging out at valley floor although a weak inversion may develop at upper elevations

Avalanche Summary

No new avalanches have been reported recently although several large avalanche were reported from around Fernie on thursday failing on a 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 snow still hanging on the trees) these wind slabs may be softer and deeper and the surface hoar may be buried as deep as 45cm down. 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.


Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs



Expected Size

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


All aspects.


Alpine, Treeline.

Valid until: Jan 9th, 2016 2:00PM