Vancouver Island Avalanche Forecast

Jan 15th, 2020 1:00AM

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

No new avalanches observed or reported.


Past Weather

Over the previous forecast period cool temperatures persisted with alpine temperatures dropping to the mid teens. These cool temperatures where combined with light north wind and intermittent light flurries.

Weather Forecast

A parade of winter storms are set to enter our region over the coming forecast period. The initial storms will continue to arrive cool. Fridays storm will deliver increasingly warm temperatures.Wednesday 10-15 cm, Winds strong from the North east, Freezing levels 1000 meters.Thursday trace 30-50 cm, Winds strong from the South west, Freezing levels 500 meters.Friday 10-20, Winds strong from the South east, Freezing levels 500 meters.

Terrain Advice

Seek sheltered and low angle terrain during the incoming storm events, ensure avoidance of overhead hazard. Careful snow pack assessment and selective route finding is essential when entering any convex roll or steep features.

Snowpack Summary

Upper snow pack is variable with wind effect stripping and pressing north aspects and loading and depositing snow on south aspects. Upper snow pack in areas not effected by the wind remains low density and shows little in the way of slab properties. The past warm and wet weather has developed thick and very dense melt freeze crusts that have essentially bridged the snow pack and created a layer that is moderately reactive to testing. The lower snow pack is settled and dense, with a basal instability still present in the upper alpine.

Snowpack Details

  • Surface: Variable surface conditions exist from stripped and pressed on North aspects and freshly loaded on south aspects.
  • Upper: Up to 30 cm of low density snow and on windward aspects a stiff and dense crust
  • Mid: a varity of meflt freeze crusts can be found
  • Lower: dense and settled with a faceted basal instability fond on the upper alpine


Moderate - Increased field observations.


Persistent Slabs

An icon showing Persistent Slabs


Expected Size

1 - 1
Found in the alpine and on all aspects, expect this avalanche problem to be stubborn to light triggers such as skiers. The chance of these avalanches being triggered is unlikely but if triggered may produce avalanches that are large to very large, greater than size two.

Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs


Expected Size

1 - 1
Touchy wind slabs can currently be found on all aspects, but predominantly south. Found in both alpine and treeline terrain, triggering of this avalanche problem is possible to likely from light loads such as skiers. If triggered expect these avalanches to be small to large, up to size two.

Storm Slabs

An icon showing Storm Slabs


Expected Size

1 - 1
New snowfall expected to develop during the end of the week will form new and touchy storm slab avalanches. The chance of this avalanche problem being trigger is likely to very likely ,especially during the initial storm period. Expect to find this new problem widespread and at all elevations and on all aspects. If triggered, expect avalanches to be large, size two or greater.

Valid until: Jan 16th, 2020 1:00AM