South Rockies Avalanche Forecast
Jan 14th, 2020 4:00PM
If you decide to brave the cold Wednesday, look for sheltered low elevation powder stashes. These will offer the safest, best riding, and be closest to the car!
Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy with scattered flurries bringing up to 5 cm of new snow. Light southwest winds, becoming strong at ridgetop. Alpine temperatures around -23 C.
Wednesday: Isolated flurries in the morning, bringing a trace of new snow. Clearing in the afternoon. Light to moderate southwest winds, strong at ridgetop. Alpine high around -15 C.
Thursday: Mostly cloudy with isolated flurries bringing 5-10 cm of new snow. Light to moderate southwest winds. Alpine high around -10.
Friday: Mix of sun and cloud with isolated flurries bringing 5-10 cm of new snow. Light to moderate southwest winds. Alpine high around -10.
Avalanche activity appears to be slowing in the cold temperatures and tapering precipitation. On Monday, a large natural audible was reported, as well as several skier controlled loose dry size 1. Reports from the weekend consisted of windslab avalanches - skier controlled size 1, and explosive controlled size 1.5-2.5.
Looking forward, windslabs will likely become less reactive as they lose cohesion in the cold temperatures. In sheltered areas, unconsolidated snow may be reactive to human triggering as dry loose sluffs.
50-70 cm of snow from last week has been redistributed into wind slabs by moderate to strong southwest to southeast winds in exposed areas at all elevations. Snow in protected areas is unconsolidated and well preserved by the cold temperatures.
A well consolidated mid-snowpack overlies a generally weak basal snowpack. The bottom 10-20 cm of the snowpack consists of facets and deteriorating crusts. This basal layer has gradually been gaining strength, but potential still exists for large triggers in thin, rocky areas to trigger avalanches at this depth.
Terrain and Travel
- Be alert to conditions that change with elevation, aspect and exposure to wind.
- Seek out sheltered terrain where new snow hasn't been wind-affected.
- Be carefull with sluffing in steep terrain, especially above cliffs and terrain traps.
Valid until: Jan 15th, 2020 5:00PM