Avalanche Forecast Waterton Lakes National Park

Thursday 31st January 2019

Avalanche Danger Ratings Thu 31st Jan 4:00PM Danger Ratings Alpine: Moderate Danger Ratings Treeline: Low Danger Ratings Below Treeline: Low Wind Slabs Wind Slabs Deep Persistent Slabs Deep Persistent Slabs

Parks Canada Forecaster: adam greenberg

Date Issued:

Valid Until:

This weekends hazard hinges on snowfall amounts with anywhere between 10 to 30cm forecast. Keep an eye on how much snow actually arrives on Saturday and Sunday

Weather Forecast

Finally, some snow! An incoming system will bring 10-30cm of precipitation on Saturday and Sunday. Warm temperatures and SW winds will rapidly switch to very cold temperatures (-30 in the alpine) and E winds on saturday night. This will set up nicely for the storm to end depositing nice cold fluffy snow, with higher amounts in the front ranges.

Snowpack Summary

15-20cm settled powder has been redistributed by strong to extreme west winds in the alpine and at treeline. This sits on a variety of wind affected surfaces and a melt freeze crust below 2000m. The midpack is strong in deep snowpack areas, but the facets lingering at the bottom remain a concern in thinner areas.

Avalanche Summary

A skier controlled size 1.5 avalanche was reported on a west aspect at treeline in the Castle mountain backcountry. No recent avalanches have been observed in the forecast area.


Intensity of incoming weather systems is uncertain on Saturday

Wind Slabs Wind Slabs


Likely - Possible

Expected Size

1 - 2

New windslabs will be forming with the incoming storm on Saturday. As the winds switch from southwest to northeast on Saturday night, be aware of the potential for reverse loading.

Keep an eye out for reverse loading created by an upslope storm.Use caution in lee areas. Wind loading could create slabs.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.

Deep Persistent Slabs Deep Persistent Slabs


Possible - Unlikely

Expected Size

2 - 3

A layer of weak facets is lurking at the bottom of the snowpack. Though there has been limited activity on this layer, it is still on our mind with consistent sudden collapse results in test profiles.

Avoid steep convexities or areas with a thin or variable snowpack.Use conservative route selection, choose moderate angled and supported terrain with low consequence.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: All elevations.

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