Avalanche activity

Chickadee Valley Lake Louise

Mark Klassen , Saturday 25th February, 2023 3:15PM

We had a family stroll up Chickadee Valley today, expecting exercise more than skiing. Visibility was poor but we managed to see some avalanche activity from the previous week.

In the south facing slide paths there had been several size 2-2.5 avalanches that had run sometime in the previous few days, they had stopped at the top of the runouts.

On the north facing side of the valley there had been numerous deep slabs (perhaps a meter thick) which had failed at the top of the fans and at the base of the cliffs of Whymper. Propagation widths were impressive. Of note was one avalanche that wiped out the steep, exposed route that some skiers use to access the north bowl of Whymper. We couldn’t see the debris piles but suspect they were all size 2.5. They were not overly fresh, but would have run sometime in the past few days.

We avoided the moraines at the head of the valley, it looked like there was wind effect there and in all alpine areas. There was intense wind transport on the peaks above from the westerly flow so avoided too much overhead hazard. We squeaked a few turns in good snow on the edge of a south facing runout that has a large catchment basin above which we felt would have stopped any avalanches coming from above today.

Source: Mountain Conditions