South Rockies Avalanche Forecast
Dec 8th, 2016 5:13PM
The alpine rating is Wind Slabs., the treeline rating is , and the below treeline rating is Known problems include
Lookout for stiff wind slabs in the alpine. Likely trigger spots are steep and rocky alpine terrain with a shallow snowpack.
Moderate - Due to the number of field observations
Friday: Cloudy with isolated flurries / Light easterly winds / Weak inversion with a alpine high of -15 C.Saturday: Cloudy with scattered flurries / Light to moderate southerly winds / Alpine high -11 C.Sunday: Mostly cloudy with isolated flurries / Moderate southwesterly winds / Alpine high of -12 C.
No recent avalanche observations have been reported in this region.
Up to 30 cm of recent storm snow has buried old snow surfaces including surface hoar and old, stiff wind slabs. The cold temperatures will have promoted surface faceting, which probably means the top layer of snow is soft in most places. Treeline snow depths around Elkford are only around 60 cm. I suspect they are slightly higher in places like the Flathead, but generally conditions are lean. Threshold snow depths for avalanches have been exceeded in the alpine and at treeline, but not below treeline. In shallow areas, the snowpack is most likely facetted (sugary) throughout, and any crusts have probably broken down already. In deeper areas, you can probably find the mid-November crust buried under half a metre or so of snow.
Lingering wind slabs formed last weekend could still be reactive to human triggers in isolated terrain features. Changing wind directions may also reverse load normally windward slopes and catch you by surprise.
Use ridges or ribs to avoid pockets of wind loaded snow.Be careful with wind loaded pockets, especially near ridge crests and roll-overs.
Valid until: Dec 9th, 2016 2:00PM