Banff Yoho & Kootenay National Park, Alberta

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Wind Slabs

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Persistent Slabs

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User submitted observations from the field: trip reports, avalanche sightings and conditions observations.

Ice - Radioactive Beagle 3 hours ago Observation Clear skies and sunny in the am. Clouded over by the time we left sometime after 3pm. Winds were a little brisk but nicely light. 3 photos Helen Shoulder 6 hours ago Observation We dug a pit after experiencing whumpfing. The CT produced a result at 17, which was a sudden drop at the 100cm depth. Our ECT produced no result. S aspect, 25 degree slope. With prodding from the shovel the column slid on the 40cm layer of frost hoar. 4 photos Haff-no 8 hours ago Observation Toured up to the Vermillion-Haffner col to ascend Haffner ridge and then summit. Beautiful day out. Sunny and near zero temperatures. Nil to light wind all day, even in the alpine. Alpine was variable between wind and sun crusts depending on aspect. HS 100cm @ 1900m and 130 @2300m. Saturday January 16th Parks Canada, 8 hours ago Forecast Crowfoot Glades 9 hours ago Observation Noted approximately size 1.5 on slope north of the moraines. See photo. 3 photos Purple Bowl 9 hours ago Observation Bulletproof in the Purple Bowl itself today and on similar windward aspects. Nice settled powder in the sheltered northeast facing trees where the wind didn't get it. No evidence of recent avalanches or signs of instability. Bow Peak, Crowfoot Pass 11 hours ago Observation Skied to Crowfoot Pass and up the SE slopes of Bow Peak. ECTX at the pinned location. Some spindrift coming out of the Bowcrow headwall and the cornices are looking plump in places. 3 photos Pulpit 1south facing 19 hours ago Observation Enjoyable day at Pulpit 1, one other group. Wind effect around 2230m and above. Storm layer was settled to about 12cm and somewhat reactive. @2230m ECT no result. CT easy SC at 10 down 12, CT hard 22 SP down about 100. Were not planning to head to the alpine but this confirmed it. Kindergarten Coulior 1 day ago Observation We got a bit of reaction off the recent storm snow, but not as much as expected. Chose to go for it and re evaluate every few minutes. Density of the snow was consistent and firm. I tried to ski cut and see if I could get something to move and received no results. 2 photos Vermillion 1 day ago Observation Very fun skiing today on the Vermilion main slide path. Weather was partly cloudy, winds calm but light-moderate around treeline at 2400m. Apart from a couple of obvious small wind affected areas at treeline, no instabilities were noted. Some sun affect on due south aspects. 2 photos West Nile 1 day ago Observation -4 and calm at 0900hrs near mosquito creek hostel. Good skiing in the glade and smaller avy path today. Conditions are best 2100m and lower. Found some reactivity on steep and convex features. Cracking, small blocks coming off unsupported features at tree line. Friday January 15th Parks Canada, 1 day ago Forecast Saddleback 1 day ago Observation Avoided wind loaded features and unsupported features. Lots of spatial variability in the Saddleback Pass area and a generally weak snowpack on the south/southwest side of Saddle Mountain. 5 photos Bow Summit Tour 2 days ago Observation Gorgeous day out at Bow Summit today. Some pretty serious wind affect on the ridge and variable storm/wind loading on the skiable slopes. We skied three of the main chutes which held surprisingly amazing snow. No signs of whumpfing or instability. 2 photos Thursday January 14th Parks Canada, 2 days ago Forecast Wednesday January 13th Parks Canada, 3 days ago Forecast Narao 3 days ago Observation 22 cm new in the parking lot and 0 degrees at 0900. Observed cracking, small releases on steep unsupported features and sluffing on mid 30 degree terrain. Windy with strong gusts and light precipitation increasing throughout the day. Coverage is still low, average 80 cm. 1 photos Panorama Ridge 3 days ago Observation Heavy winds, warm temps and heavy precip 1 photos Narao West Aspect 4 days ago Observation Rode Narao peak today going up the fire road headed up at the 2km mark. 3 photos Pulpit 1 south glades 4 days ago Observation No thermometer. But fairly warm day 2 photos Stanley Headwall wind slab 4 days ago Observation Above tree line, snowpack was variable, from thin with cracking and a 2-5cm thickness wind slab at valley bottom up to approximately 120cm depth with a 1F to P hardness 15cm thick slab over a 4F hardness 10-25cm slab. Facets below. 1 photos Tuesday January 12th Parks Canada, 4 days ago Forecast Pilsner/Guiness 5 days ago Observation Hiked up to the base of Pilsner this morning. Debris from previous slides ran through the trees and had 10cm of new snow on top. The debris nearest the climb appeared to be more recent with only 3cm of snow on top. 3 photos Pulpit 1 + 2 5 days ago Observation Did a lap of the south facing trees off pulpit 1, another lap in the east facing pillow chute off pulpit 2. Seemed like the overnight winds had mostly filled in the weekends tracks. No signs of instability were observed. 1 photos Louise Falls 5 days ago Observation Climbed Louise Falls, temps were around -5 all day with little to no wind low down and extreme winds in the alpine. Observed two dry loose slides around 1-1.5 on the NW side of Fairview(natural trigger) and heard 3rd and much bigger slide in the area. Monday January 11th Parks Canada, 5 days ago Forecast Balfour creek 5 days ago Observation We triggered a size 1 slab avalanche yesterday on approach to Orion Falls, see pictures. We were traversing right beneath the climb when the first skier triggered the slope in a shallow thick to thin snowpack area, after cutting a small convex roll. 2 photos Sub Observations Trees South Aspect 6 days ago Observation Rode the trees on the south aspect below Obs Sub Peak for a quick half day out. Boot top powder with fresh tracks and great tree skiing. Dug a pit at 2450m on a ~30 degree slope in the open trees. CTM17 with SC at 53cms. No propagation on ECT. Both December layers appear to be faceted. 1 photos Ice Climbing - Guinness Stout 6 days ago Observation Climbed guiness gully and Stout today. Generally brittle and picked out iceon GG, plastic ice on steepest line of Guinness Stout. High test is in but appears stiffer than previous years. Gully overhead on Guinness has 50-100cm of heavily faceted snow with a well beaten path up it. 2 photos Surprise Pass 6 days ago Observation Lots of people out in the area today, looked to be quite good skiing in Fairview Bowl. Lots of new SH growth up to and including Saddleback Pass - keep an eye open when the next snow comes in! Chickadee valley runouts 6 days ago Observation Avalanche observation by julia.niemczewska, seen near Banff Yoho & Kootenay National Park, reported on Sun 10th Jan, 2021 9:00AM 2 photos Sunday January 10th Parks Canada, 6 days ago Forecast Divide (the adjacent snow back by 10) Creek [Splitfest] 6 days ago Observation Can keep Divide Creek off your list for quite some time. Seemed like K Country in October, blown to ground up to the glacier. Once out of the trees other then in wind-lips it was rarely above 30 cm in depth. 3 photos Cirque forepeak 6 days ago Observation Went up cirque forepeak. No major signs of instabilities. It's very wind battered as the other min pit report suggests. Set a skin track up and boot packed to the top, lots of sharks in the alpine as you can see from the photo. Better skiing was found at treeline and below. 1 photos Vermillion Peak 1 week ago Observation Large inversion above 2000m at vermillion peak today (-11 in the car and above 0 around 2100m. -8 when back to the car at 2:00pm). Big hoar frost crystals below 2000m. 3 photos Calm and surprisingly warm ( relatively) 1 week ago Observation Toured Dolomite today - bluebird day, calm conditions, felt pretty warm moving up to Katherine lake relative to the chilly parking at Helen Creek. Low/no wind, <5 cm on supportive crust on high pass and dropping down to Katherine lake... folks making nice turns on the ridge above the lake too! Flower couloir 1 week ago Observation Skied flower couloir today after digging a pit below stem and feeling pretty solid in the snowpack. Stem was pretty skied out and hard but the last 10-15m was wind loaded and covered but seemed to be unreactive. We continued up into the petals and skied a line on the lookers left hand side. 5 photos North Crystal Ridge (Splitfest!) 1 week ago Observation ECTF23 @ 50 cm CTM13 @ 125 (facets on bottom, not sure if this area got a Nov 5 crust but couldn’t find through snowpack). This layer didn’t show any results for ECT 3 photos North Crystal Ridge (Splitfest!) 1 week ago Observation ECTF23 @ 50 cm CTM13 @ 125 (facets on bottom, not sure if this area got a Nov 5 crust but couldn’t find through snowpack). This layer didn’t show any results for ECT 3 photos Onion cornice collapse 1 week ago Observation Heard the cornice collapse/ avalanche just after exiting the canyon below bow hut on our way to Crowfoot Mountain. Shortly after we were able to see the recent avalanche. We also noted a recent ish size 2 slab avlanches on Vulture Peak and a loose wet off of the south slopes of Jimmy Jr. 3 photos S Hector Ridge - Roadside glades - Splitfest 1 week ago Observation Great conditions, skied well above and below tree line. Cold, sunny day with some wind up top. Wind crust up top but not noticeable after about 100 meters. Surface hoar sparkling at and above treeline. 1 photos Chick-A-Boom 🐥- A - 💥 1 week ago Observation Nice track was avail to the end of Chick valley. Probed HS125cm before going around the cliff bands to hit the upper valley towards Chimney col. Probed 3m or so on N aspect past the col although suspect there would’ve been wind transport at that spot. 5 photos Katherine Ridge 1 week ago Observation CT no result. With the shovel I got a planar release on a layer at 45 cms. It was hard to get this to pop. 26 degree slope, NE facing. 2 photos Nemesis - Ice 1 week ago Observation Sky started as “broken” becoming “few” throughout the day. -11 when we left the car at 0700 and -8 at the base of the climb at 0900. No new snow overnight, no snow through the day. Winds were calm, no blowing snow. Ski penetration approximately 10cm and foot pen was 35cm up to waist deep in places. 3 photos Nemesis - Ice 1 week ago Observation Sky started as “broken” becoming “few” throughout the day. -11 when we left the car at 0700 and -8 at the base of the climb at 0900. No new snow overnight, no snow through the day. Winds were calm, no blowing snow. Ski penetration approximately 10cm and foot pen was 35cm up to waist deep in places. 3 photos Paget Area 1 week ago Observation Skied around Paget Peak today, the day started at -17, above the inversion cloud was quite warm, small amounts of pinwheeling on the sunny slopes- not reactive. 1 photos Crowfoot Mountain/Little Crowfoot 1 week ago Observation See photos. Noticed a crown indicating a size 2 at the end of the day in east facing, unsupported high alpine terrain off vulture. Likely due to cornice failure. Also saw evidence of 1-1.5s on the south chutes off Jimmy Simpson on north side of bow lake. 2 photos Avalanche Investigation Hector South Area 1 week ago Observation This is a thin snowpack area. Height of Snow along the crown was thin at the convexity where failure occurred is no more than 60cm and the Dec 13 failure plane here was no more than 30 cm deep. 7 photos Saturday January 9th Parks Canada, 1 week ago Forecast Ringrose couloir 1 week ago Observation loc: just north of ringrose couloir mouth near Oesa lk. 2x column test clean failure at 40cm @12/13 hit. Skier jump test, hi energy slide @40cm Not my report- sent from an inreach device Upper Crowfoot 1 week ago Observation Snow profile dug at TL at top of Crowfoot Glades. Large boulders and some wind affect in area. About 30cms of low density snow sit atop faceting rounds, 1mm. PWL down 53 (no SH present. Perhaps some small stellars mixed with other faceting rounds) produced hard, RP results in both CTs. Temple North Aspect Slide 1 week ago Observation Watched a fairly large loose dry (assuming natural) slide come off Mt.Temple from top of Paradise Chair. Approx 9:20am. Couldn’t see in too much detail at a distance but was looking at the temple glacial cap when it spilled off. Powder cloud reached near valley bottom between Temple and Haddo. Ice Climbing Tokkum Pole 1 week ago Observation Climbed Tokkum pole today. The front is quite wet, but there are dry lines on the side. It is not touching down and it looked too difficult for us to manage the mixed start, so we lowered from above and climbed up. Cirque Peak 1 week ago Observation Had an overwhelming urge to do some digging today and wanted to check on how the persistent weak layers were behaving. We found the best skiing at treeline with boot-top pow, the alpine has seen a lot of wind. We avoided wind-loaded and convex features. 2 photos Friday January 8th Parks Canada, 1 week ago Forecast Cathedral glades 1 week ago Observation At the summit of kicking horse pass we observed a local fog/cloud stuck at the highway. It when up to approximately 1800-1900m. In the zone, we noticed hoar frost. There was no wind to brake it up or move it, till the end of the day 14:00-15:00. 1 photos Size 2 avalanche, North Bowl south end of Hector S Ridge 1 week ago Observation 4 of us were skiing on the south end of Hector S Ridge (“Hector Point”). We noticed no signs of instability on our way up. No signs of natural avalanches were seen. 3 photos Deep Persistent Slab Avalanche 1 week ago Observation On our approach to the Bow Hut today we saw a Size 3 Deep Persistent Slab avalanche on Vulture Peak out of unsupported, wind loaded terrain that likely failed on basal weak layers in the past 24h (see attached photo). The crown line appeared to be 50cm at its thinnest, but 2m+ in many spots. 1 photos Redoubt Bowl-skiers right chute 1 week ago Observation In Redoubt Bowl, almost up to the rock band, there was about 20cm of powder on a firm base. Frequent pole test didn't show any major weakness. Once we started into the chute, snow conditions had changed. There was some wind loading on both sides of the chute that were forming a soft slab. 1 photos Thursday January 7th Parks Canada, 1 week ago Forecast Pulpit 1 1 week ago Observation As previous. Heard but not seen Crowfoot glades extended column 1 week ago Observation While at crowfoot glades we did an extended column test at 2173M on an NNE aspect at 27 degrees. Had failure at 22 strikes with full propagation along the column. Snow depth was 143cm failure at 96cm. Continuous snow fall throughout the day. Amazing skiing in trees and open slopes. 3 photos Catherdral glades 1900m 1 week ago Observation First report ever so take it with a grain of salt... Cathedral glades today on a N NE aspects Up to 1950m. About a half foot of new snow and minimal wind. Temperature was around -2c. No signs of instability. We got fresh tracks on all our runs . Wednesday January 6th Parks Canada, 1 week ago Forecast Tuesday January 5th Parks Canada, 1 week ago Forecast Monday January 4th Parks Canada, 1 week ago Forecast Bow Summit Pow Day 1 week ago Observation Great day at bow summit. Parking lot was not plowed, little bit of a crux getting in and out. ~30cm of snow overnight sitting on top of ~15cm from the day before. Skied the lookers right ski runs. Storm snow from the day before was starting to slab up in lee features. Cirque trees 1 week ago Observation No avalanche activity notes 1 photos Pulpit 1 and 2 1 week ago Observation Snowing heavily over Kicking Horse Pass and Lake Louise on the drive but stopped abruptly shortly before getting to our destination. Only 5-10cm overnight at the trailhead. 35cm ski penetration at treeline. 3 photos Ice climb - Red Commie Star 1 week ago Observation -6 and 10cm of fresh snow in the parking lot at 8:30. Broke trail to the lake and across the lake. Below the snow on the lake there is a layer of slush. Don’t stand still too long! At the lake level there is 20-30cm if new snow depending on where you look. 5 photos Bow Summit Study Plot Profile 1 week ago Observation 20cm of storm snow 12/31-01/03 at Bow Summit Study Plot, 119cm HS 2 photos Storm mountain fire break 1 week ago Observation We took the wrong skin track and ended up bushwhacking through trees for an extra 30 minutes - this track is lookers right up to the top of the fire break. Started along the bridge by the parking lot... Would not recommend - stick to the track along the highway. 1 photos Sunday January 3rd Parks Canada, 1 week ago Forecast Helen Shoulder 2 weeks ago Observation We skinned up in the Helen Shoulder trees where it was snowing about 1cm/hr and an occasional wind gust could be felt. There was 5cm of new storm snow. 1 photos Near kindergarten couloir fan 2 weeks ago Observation A size 1.5 was observed under the cliffs to the climbers right of kindergarten couloir. Due to low visibility no crown was observed and it was suspected to be triggered by cornice fall from the ridge. 2 photos Floe Lake Trailhead 2 weeks ago Observation We digged a pit at 1345m in an opening in the new growth forest. Observed pop/drop of the Dec 7 layer: ECTP12, PST30/100, down 40 on SH 3.0-5.0. Snow was -0.8c at ground and -2.0c at surface. Air temperature was around 0c. Minimal wind below treeline. Bow Summit Powder Day 2 weeks ago Observation Quiet day at Bow Summit with only 4 cars at the parking lot. Temps hovered between-4 to -7. 20-30 cm’s of recent HST made for great skiing on the south end runs. Mod-strong wind out of the south at 2350meters. Calm in the trees. Snowing S1 / S2 all day. No signs of instability observed today. Vermillion before the storm 2 weeks ago Observation Light flurries all day, moderate to strong wind at treeline 1 photos Saturday January 2nd Parks Canada, 2 weeks ago Forecast

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