Vancouver Island Avalanche Forecast

Jan 22nd, 2020 1:00AM

The alpine rating is considerable, the treeline rating is considerable, and the below treeline rating is moderate. Known problems include Loose Wet and Storm Slabs.

Past 72 hours, reports of widespread natural avalanche occurrences up-to size 2 mostly loose wet. Ski cutting on short steep terrain below 1500 meters produced easly triggered loose wet avalanches that gained mass on larger slopes.


Past Weather

Freezing levels breached the 1800 meter mark over the entire forecast region with precipitation in the form of rain fell with amounts between 30 and 50 mm. The warm temperatures, settled the snow pack rapidly and a natural avalanche cycle occurred. Tuesday a cold front dropped freezing levels and delivered up to 35 cm of new snow.

Weather Forecast

A cavalcade of winter storms will wash over our region during the coming forecast period. The southwestern flow will continue to deliver moderate precipitation and warming temperatures with fluctuating freezing levels. Wednesday 5-10 cm, Winds moderate from the South west, Freezing levels 1000 meters.Thursday trace 20-25 mm, Winds moderate from the South east, Freezing levels 1800 meters.Friday 20-25 mm, Winds moderate from the South east, Freezing levels 1200 meters.

Terrain Advice

**Give Cornice features a large berth when travelling both below or above them.****Choose low angle terrain during storm events and avoid areas with overhead hazard.****During periods of high hazard, travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.**

Snowpack Summary

30 cm of recent storm snow now covers a very moist and at lower elevations unconsolidated upper snow pack. The mid pack has a variety of melt freeze crust with one being extremely robust and having the ability to bridge the lower snow pack.The lower snow pack is well settled and dense, with the exception of the alpine where a deep an nonreactive basal instability is possibly still lurking.

Snowpack Details

  • Surface: New moist snow
  • Upper: moist and settling
  • Mid: A variety of melt freeze crusts can be found.
  • Lower: well settled and dense


Moderate - Fluctuating freezing levels and discrepancy within forecast models over the precipitation amounts and in what form.


Loose Wet

An icon showing Loose Wet


Expected Size

1 - 1
**Warming temperatures and precipitation in the form of rain will unconsolidated the new snow allowing for loose wet avalanches to become touchy to light triggers.** **Location**: All aspects but specific to lower alpine elevations and below. **Possibility**: During warming cycles and rain events expect triggering of this avalanche problem to be near certain from light loads such as skiers. Natural avalanches are very likely to certain. **Size**: If triggered expect these avalanches to start small but when they gain mass up-to size 2. Expect terrain features that are steep and gully like to promote the loose wet avalanche problem to gain mass and speed. Natural avalanches are very likely to certain.

Storm Slabs

An icon showing Storm Slabs


Expected Size

1 - 1
**New snowfall and warming temperatures have begun to rapidly settle the current storm slab. Expect this problem, to be touchy to light loads such as skiers.** **Location:** All aspects and at all elevations. **Possibility**: Triggering of this avalanche problem is likely to very likely from light loads such as skiers. **Size**: If triggered expect these avalanches to be large, up to size two and on specific terrain features very large, size 3. Natural avalanches are possible to likely.

Valid until: Jan 23rd, 2020 1:00AM