South Rockies Avalanche Forecast
Jan 13th, 2018 3:00PM
A Special Public Avalanche Warning is in effect for the region. With a tricky snowpack near the tipping point it's time for conservative trip planning and careful terrain selection. Avoid exposure to overhead hazards.
Saturday and Saturday Night: Mix of sun and cloud, flurries, light northwest wind ... not much of significance ... however a warm ridge is approaching which means a temperature inversion with warm temperatures at treeline and alpine elevations will devolop over the next few days.SUNDAY: Mix of sun & cloud and a temperature inversion could mean valley fog (in places like the Elk Valley near Elkford) with sunshine above. Treeline and alpine temperatures just below zero. Light northerly winds.MONDAY: Mostly sunny with some low level (valley) cloud. Light and variable wind. Warmest temperatures at treeline and alpine elevations near zero.TUESDAY: Treeline and alpine temperatures just above zero. Wind becoming more westerly as the next pacific system approaches.
The only reports we received were of small loose dry and small thin windslabs in the size 1, 1.5 and just maybe size 2.
An unstable weak layer from mid-December (predominantly feathery surface hoar crystals and/or a sun crust) is found at treeline and below treeline elevations. Slabs can fail easily on this layer, either naturally or with the weight of a person or machine. Forecasted warm air temperatures could increase slab properties of the overlying snow and make this layer easier to trigger.The snowpack is variable across the region, but persistent slabs are generally a widespread problem. Wind slab and storm slab distribution will be more variable. New wind slabs can be found in parts of the region due to recent southwest winds. Windward alpine slopes may be scoured; and variable wind slabs are found at treeline and alpine elevations. New snow is likely to fail as storm slabs and/or loose avalanches.Deeper in the snowpack, an early-season rain crust and sugary facets exist. An avalanche in motion could step down to these deeper layers, creating a large and destructive avalanche. Overall snowpack depths are variable across the region. It is generally shallower in the east.
Recent snow is likely to fail as loose snow or slab avalanches, especially in steep alpine and treeline terrain or open slopes below treeline.
Use caution when entering lee areas. Recent wind loading may have created wind slabs.Use conservative route selection. Choose moderate angled and supported terrain with low consequence.
Forecasted warm air temperatures could increase the likelihood of triggering buried weak layers. The trees may not be the safe haven you expect: adopt a cautious attitude to all avalanche terrain.
Minimize overhead exposure during periods of warming and/or direct sun on starting zones.Back off if you encounter whumpfing, hollow sounds, or shooting cracks.Avoid open slopes and convex rolls where buried weak layers may be preserved.
Valid until: Jan 14th, 2018 2:00PM