Avalog Logo

Avalanche Canada esharp, Avalanche Canada

South Rockies Avalanche Forecast

Feb 10th, 2016 7:54AM

The alpine rating is moderate, the treeline rating is moderate, and the below treeline rating is low. Known problems include Wind Slabs and Persistent Slabs.

Avalanche hazard will fall as the temperature cools, however, pay attention to changing conditions between sunny and shaded aspects

Summary

Confidence

Moderate - Timing or intensity of solar radiation is uncertain on Thursday

Weather Forecast

THURSDAY: cloudy, light southwest winds freeing level 2200m. FRIDAY: light flurries and showers overnight as freezing levels fall to valley floor before rebounding to 2200m, light southwesterly winds. SATURDAY: flurries/showers taper off in the early morning, partly cloudy skies, moderate westerly winds, freezing level falling to 1800m. 

Avalanche Summary

A cycle of loose wet avalanches was reported on Monday and Tuesday.

Snowpack Summary

Moist snow can be found on solar aspects and a thin melt freeze crust may form on the surface overnight. Dry snow can still be found on high elevation north facing slopes.  Strong south west winds have resulted in widespread wind effect. Thick, stiff wind slabs can be found on north aspects in the alpine. Cornices have grown significantly. In the front ranges, the wind effect may be more extreme with widespread strastugi being reported in the alpine around Castle Mountain. In some areas you may find a supportive crust down 30cm that extends up to around 1900m. A layer of buried surface hoar can be found between 40 and 60cm down and remains a concern west of the Divide. The snowpack rests on a weak crust/facet layer from early December.

Problems

Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs

Likelihood

Possible - Unlikely

Expected Size

1 - 4
Stubborn old wind slabs can be found on cool north facing slopes, and cornices will remain weak until the temperatures falls.
Be aware of the potential for wide propagations due to the presence of hard windslabs.>Cornices become weak with daytime heating, so travel early on exposed slopes.>

Aspects:

All aspects.

Elevations:

Alpine, Treeline.

Persistent Slabs

An icon showing Persistent Slabs

Likelihood

Possible - Unlikely

Expected Size

3 - 5
The early January surface hoar remains a classic low probability problem west of the Divide. I'm unsure as to how it will respond to the prolonged warm temperatures, so I would treat larger terrain features with caution until the snowpack cools.
Be aware of the potential for large, deep avalanches due to the presence of buried surface hoar.>Avoid convexities or areas with a thin or variable snowpack.>

Aspects:

All aspects.

Elevations:

Alpine, Treeline.

Valid until: Feb 11th, 2016 2:00PM