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Monday 5 December 2016

December 5, 2016 at 11:36AM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Wednesday 7 December, 2016 6pm.

DANGER RATINGS (Make sure you understand the danger level meanings)
 
Outlook Monday Tuesday Wednesday 
Alpine CONSIDERABLE MODERATE MODERATE
Treeline MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE
Below Tree line LOW LOW LOW

Confidence: Fair, more Alpine observations above 1600m would be helpful. 

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wind Slab- The Strathcona mountains and north to Mt Cain received new snow up to 20cm Saturday night. Reverse loading from variable winds NW to NE will has created complex wind slabs in the areas above 1600m. Forecast models indicate further loading Monday. Naturals are possible with the new snow Monday and human triggered likely in wind loaded lees. these avalanches could be large in specific areas. Use careful snowpack evaluation and be cautious in your route finding and decision making.

Travel/Terrain Advice: Conditions vary widely from South(no new snow) to North(20 cm new), wind effect was variable and reverse NE-NW during or right after new snow in North. Really have a good look at what has happen in your location over the weekend and be cautious with these complex conditions in the Alpine. In areas of no new snow the crust is hard and fast so watch out for uncontrolled slips with bad run outs.

Past Weather: Friday rained to at least 1600m in most locations and then freezing levels started to fall over Saturday and Sunday, this has created a well developed crust below 1600m. No new snow at Mt Washington and 20cms new at Mt Cain fell Saturday night. Variable strong winds SW,NW and NNE.

Avalanche Summary: Loose dry maybe size 1 reported off Mt Cain summit gully Sunday. Trees and rock faces below 1400m released wet snow then froze creating some heavy frozen debris at treeline and below.

Snow pack Description:  Depths vary up to around 200cm, 130cm in commonly skied elevations. Alpine slabs could go to 300cm. 

Surface- Melt/freeze crust conditions exist in areas of no new snow and in areas of new snow 20cm boot penetration or wind effected/wind crust on North and west aspects.

Upper- Settling new snow

Mid- Well settled snow

Lower-Well settled and old rain crust(deeply buried) in some locations south(not reactive)

Weather Forecast:

Monday -  12-20cm snow, less in North. Winds up to 30kmh SE-NE.  Freezing level 500m.  

Tuesday-  No precipitation (Sunny periods). Winds up to 20kmh NW. Freezing level 200m.

Wednesday- No precipitation. Winds up to 25kmh SE-NE. Freezing level 0m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

Friday 2 Dec 2016

December 2, 2016 at 09:37AM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Sunday 4 December, 2016 6pm.

DANGER RATINGS (Make sure you understand the danger level meanings)
 
Outlook Friday Saturday Sunday 
Alpine CONSIDERABLE CONSIDERABLE CONSIDERABLE
Treeline MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE
Below Tree line LOW LOW LOW

Confidence: Fair more Alpine observations would be helpful. 

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wet Loose- Freezing levels will rise dramatically Friday during a rain and wind event. Accumulated snow on trees and rock faces will likely release to create mostly small wet avalanches in many areas. These could be large in specific alpine gullies.

Wind Slab- Variable freezing levels in the alpine during the wind and precipitation may create wind slabs at the highest elevations that could produce large avalanches in specific areas. Carefully evaluate snow accumulations and wind effect particularly in lees to SE and SW winds. Be cautious in your route finding and decision making.

 

Travel/Terrain Advice: Friday will be a very unpleasant day for travel but freezing levels will drop Saturday and Sunday. Shallow snow exists around creeks and logs, be careful of obstacles!  This early season snowpack is worth the time spent digging to ground in a variety of locations to build a good sense of what is happen right now and this will inform your observations during the up coming season. Let us know what you find!

Past Weather: November has been a great period of lower freezing levels and lots of precipitation.

Avalanche Summary: No avalanches have been observed and reported.

Snow pack Description:  Depths vary up to around 200cm, 160cm in commonly skied elevations. Alpine slabs could go to 300cm. 

Surface- Melt conditions exist at most elevations. 

Upper- Settling new snow

Mid- Well settled snow

Lower-Well settled

Weather Forecast:

Friday -  9-27mm of precipitation. Winds up to 70kmh South.  Freezing level 2000m.  

Saturday-  Trace to 10cm snow. Winds up to 50kmh SW. Freezing level 1000m.

Sunday- Trace to 7cm snow. Winds up to 25kmh SE. Freezing level 500m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

Conditions Up-date 2016/11/24

November 24, 2016 at 03:56PM

This forecaster got out into the field today and while we do not have enough data yet to give you a full forecast we can certainly share some information that should help if you are planning to get out this weekend.

There is a lot of new storm snow out there. 40cm overnight last night bringing the snowpack at tree line to about 150cm.

There are a number of easy shears and one very easy shear within this storm snow and lots of wind effect at tree line and above. We were able to create small avalanches in tests on small features. What this information tells us is that larger avalanches are both likely to have happened in the alpine and easy to make happen with human triggers at tree line and in the alpine on larger features.

There is more storm snow on the way Friday and Saturday. Anywhere from 25 to 50cm depending on location and which weather model you believe.

I imagine that at tree line and in the alpine the hazard will likely be high during storm activity and soon thereafter and considerable between storms (check the definition of hazard ratings here).

With limited field data other than what we've seen today our best advice is that you plan trips carefully with your plan A being to travel in forested terrain below tree line, or on low angle terrain at tree line and in the alpine. Check the snow for signs of instability and be aware of how conditions change as you move higher into the mountains and into more wind exposed areas. Conservative decision making will hold you in good stead in this early season. Also remember that the height of snow tapers off below tree line and that early season hazards such as rocks and stumps can really hurt!

We will aim to start regular forecasts late next week.

Avalanche Forecaster: Jan Neuspiel

View older posts »

Monday 5 December 2016

December 5, 2016 at 11:36AM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Wednesday 7 December, 2016 6pm.

DANGER RATINGS (Make sure you understand the danger level meanings)
 
Outlook Monday Tuesday Wednesday 
Alpine CONSIDERABLE MODERATE MODERATE
Treeline MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE
Below Tree line LOW LOW LOW

Confidence: Fair, more Alpine observations above 1600m would be helpful. 

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wind Slab- The Strathcona mountains and north to Mt Cain received new snow up to 20cm Saturday night. Reverse loading from variable winds NW to NE will has created complex wind slabs in the areas above 1600m. Forecast models indicate further loading Monday. Naturals are possible with the new snow Monday and human triggered likely in wind loaded lees. these avalanches could be large in specific areas. Use careful snowpack evaluation and be cautious in your route finding and decision making.

Travel/Terrain Advice: Conditions vary widely from South(no new snow) to North(20 cm new), wind effect was variable and reverse NE-NW during or right after new snow in North. Really have a good look at what has happen in your location over the weekend and be cautious with these complex conditions in the Alpine. In areas of no new snow the crust is hard and fast so watch out for uncontrolled slips with bad run outs.

Past Weather: Friday rained to at least 1600m in most locations and then freezing levels started to fall over Saturday and Sunday, this has created a well developed crust below 1600m. No new snow at Mt Washington and 20cms new at Mt Cain fell Saturday night. Variable strong winds SW,NW and NNE.

Avalanche Summary: Loose dry maybe size 1 reported off Mt Cain summit gully Sunday. Trees and rock faces below 1400m released wet snow then froze creating some heavy frozen debris at treeline and below.

Snow pack Description:  Depths vary up to around 200cm, 130cm in commonly skied elevations. Alpine slabs could go to 300cm. 

Surface- Melt/freeze crust conditions exist in areas of no new snow and in areas of new snow 20cm boot penetration or wind effected/wind crust on North and west aspects.

Upper- Settling new snow

Mid- Well settled snow

Lower-Well settled and old rain crust(deeply buried) in some locations south(not reactive)

Weather Forecast:

Monday -  12-20cm snow, less in North. Winds up to 30kmh SE-NE.  Freezing level 500m.  

Tuesday-  No precipitation (Sunny periods). Winds up to 20kmh NW. Freezing level 200m.

Wednesday- No precipitation. Winds up to 25kmh SE-NE. Freezing level 0m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

Friday 2 Dec 2016

December 2, 2016 at 09:37AM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Sunday 4 December, 2016 6pm.

DANGER RATINGS (Make sure you understand the danger level meanings)
 
Outlook Friday Saturday Sunday 
Alpine CONSIDERABLE CONSIDERABLE CONSIDERABLE
Treeline MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE
Below Tree line LOW LOW LOW

Confidence: Fair more Alpine observations would be helpful. 

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wet Loose- Freezing levels will rise dramatically Friday during a rain and wind event. Accumulated snow on trees and rock faces will likely release to create mostly small wet avalanches in many areas. These could be large in specific alpine gullies.

Wind Slab- Variable freezing levels in the alpine during the wind and precipitation may create wind slabs at the highest elevations that could produce large avalanches in specific areas. Carefully evaluate snow accumulations and wind effect particularly in lees to SE and SW winds. Be cautious in your route finding and decision making.

 

Travel/Terrain Advice: Friday will be a very unpleasant day for travel but freezing levels will drop Saturday and Sunday. Shallow snow exists around creeks and logs, be careful of obstacles!  This early season snowpack is worth the time spent digging to ground in a variety of locations to build a good sense of what is happen right now and this will inform your observations during the up coming season. Let us know what you find!

Past Weather: November has been a great period of lower freezing levels and lots of precipitation.

Avalanche Summary: No avalanches have been observed and reported.

Snow pack Description:  Depths vary up to around 200cm, 160cm in commonly skied elevations. Alpine slabs could go to 300cm. 

Surface- Melt conditions exist at most elevations. 

Upper- Settling new snow

Mid- Well settled snow

Lower-Well settled

Weather Forecast:

Friday -  9-27mm of precipitation. Winds up to 70kmh South.  Freezing level 2000m.  

Saturday-  Trace to 10cm snow. Winds up to 50kmh SW. Freezing level 1000m.

Sunday- Trace to 7cm snow. Winds up to 25kmh SE. Freezing level 500m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

Conditions Up-date 2016/11/24

November 24, 2016 at 03:56PM

This forecaster got out into the field today and while we do not have enough data yet to give you a full forecast we can certainly share some information that should help if you are planning to get out this weekend.

There is a lot of new storm snow out there. 40cm overnight last night bringing the snowpack at tree line to about 150cm.

There are a number of easy shears and one very easy shear within this storm snow and lots of wind effect at tree line and above. We were able to create small avalanches in tests on small features. What this information tells us is that larger avalanches are both likely to have happened in the alpine and easy to make happen with human triggers at tree line and in the alpine on larger features.

There is more storm snow on the way Friday and Saturday. Anywhere from 25 to 50cm depending on location and which weather model you believe.

I imagine that at tree line and in the alpine the hazard will likely be high during storm activity and soon thereafter and considerable between storms (check the definition of hazard ratings here).

With limited field data other than what we've seen today our best advice is that you plan trips carefully with your plan A being to travel in forested terrain below tree line, or on low angle terrain at tree line and in the alpine. Check the snow for signs of instability and be aware of how conditions change as you move higher into the mountains and into more wind exposed areas. Conservative decision making will hold you in good stead in this early season. Also remember that the height of snow tapers off below tree line and that early season hazards such as rocks and stumps can really hurt!

We will aim to start regular forecasts late next week.

Avalanche Forecaster: Jan Neuspiel

View older posts »

Important Notice

This bulletin covers the mountainous region of Vancouver Island from the Mt. Cain Ski Area in the North to the Beaufort range to the South including the mountains of Strathcona Provincial Park.

This is a regional forecast and significant variation may exist within the forecast area. The information and danger ratings are intended as a trip planning aid for recreational, backcountry users of avalanche terrain; they are not meant to be used as the sole factor in determining the avalanche danger presented by a specific slope.

Always include local weather, snowpack and avalanche observations in your decision to travel in avalanche terrain. Observations and experience may lead to different conclusions from what is reported or recommended. See disclaimer for further details. The technical data used to produce these bulletins is obtained from a variety of sources, including local ski areas and remote weather resources.