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Friday 17 February 2017

February 17, 2017 at 09:54AM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Sunday 19 February, 2017 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, lack of Alpine observations.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wind Slab- Wind slabs from previous cycles still exist in lees to SE-SW winds at Treeline and Alpine. These sensitive slabs will be further loaded by rain saturation and at the highest elevations by new wind loading and snow. Although warmer temperatures will have been settling these bonds the areas with a transition to colder temps will be most suspect(1300-1600m) and difficult to determine. These avalanches could be human triggered and large in the Alpine in wind loaded terrain. Human triggered avalanches could be large in isolated wind loaded terrain at the highest elevations and coldest locations at Treeline. 

Storm Slab- Particularly in the Alpine where snow has been accumulating, new snow amounts of over 100cm could develop  Dangerous storm slabs. These would be widespread on all aspects and humans could trigger small avalanches in many areas or  large in specific areas that have accumulated snow instead of rain. Isolated very high terrain that combines wind effect could be human triggered to very large.

Travel/Terrain Advice:  The current weather seems stable for a few days with normal freezing levels, snowmobilers will have visibility to higher elevations and should be very cautious about triggering large avalanches in many locations, skiing conditions are poor in some locations and the temptation will be to explore more lee terrain at higher elevations, this is exactly where the Danger is the highest. Dangerous and heightened avalanche conditions still exist. Evaluate terrain and snow conditions carefully to identify features of concern. 

Past Weather: Rain started Tuesday with freezing level to 2000m at times and continued through Wednesday. As much as 115mm rain fell during the event. Freezing levels have returned to 1000m and 5-8cm new has fallen above 1300m

Avalanche Summary: Natural size 3 slab avalanche observed on Albert Edward, East aspect. Many loose wet at treeline up to 1.5.

 Snowpack Description: 

Surface-  Rain saturated and new snow above 1300m exists. Melt surfaces now below 1600m. Wind effect on exposed areas.

Upper- A variety of new snow layers exist in the upper snowpack depending on elevation and wind effect. Many of these older layers contain buried surface hoar creating weaknesses. Sensitive wind slabs and storm slabs of 80cm or greater exist at treeline and in the Alpine.

Mid- Well settled.

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

Weather Forecast:

Friday - up to 8cm precipitation. Winds SE-NW to 14kmh.  Freezing level 1000m .  

Saturday-  No new precipitation. Winds S to 10kmh.  Freezing level 1000m.

Sunday- 3-20cm new snow .  Winds SE to 65kmh later in day . Freezing level to 1000m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

 

Wednesday 15 February 2017

February 15, 2017 at 08:46AM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Friday 17 February, 2017 6pm. 

DANGER RATINGS (Make sure you understand the danger level meanings)
 
Outlook Wednesday Thursday Friday 
Alpine HIGH HIGH HIGH
Treeline CONSIDERABLE CONSIDERABLE CONSIDERABLE
Below Tree line MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE

Confidence: Fair, intensity, timing and freezing levels are not known with accuracy. 

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Loose Wet- Rain to mountain tops at times and some locations will loosen the surface snow and produce small loose wet avalanches in many areas and large avalanches in areas that funnel multiple start zones like gullies.

Wind Slab- Wind slabs from previous cycles still exist in lees to SE-SW winds at Treeline and above. These sensitive slabs will be further loaded by rain saturation and at higher elevations by new wind loading. These avalanches could be naturally triggered and very large in the Alpine and large in specific wind loaded terrain at Treeline. 

Storm Slab- Particularly in the Alpine where snow has been accumulating, new snow amounts could develop Very Dangerous storm slabs. These would be widespread on all aspects and could naturally release large avalanches in many areas or very large in specific areas which have existing old wind slabs in lees to Southerly winds.

Travel/Terrain Advice: Travel in Avalanche terrain in the Alpine is not recommended when the Danger Rating is High. Continued caution on wind loaded terrain is essential. Widespread rain at all elevations will create Dangerous and very Dangerous avalanche conditions.

Past Weather: Rain started Tuesday with freezing level to 2000m at times in some locations.

Avalanche Summary:  Snowpack Description: 

Surface-  Rain saturated and new snow above 1600m exists. Melt surfaces now below 1600m 

Upper- A variety of new snow layers exist in the upper snowpack depending on elevation and wind effect. Many of these layers contain buried surface hoar creating weaknesses. Sensitive wind slabs of 80cm or greater exist at treeline and above.

Mid- Well settled.

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

Weather Forecast:

Wednesday - 20-130mm precipitation depending on location most on west and central areas. Winds SE to 80kmh.  Freezing level 2800m at times.  

Thursday-  7-90mm precipitation. Winds SE to 70kmh.  Freezing level 1000-1800m.

Friday- 5-15cm new snow .  Winds SW to 65kmh . Freezing level to 900m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

 

Monday 13 February 2017

February 13, 2017 at 10:18AM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Wednesday 15 February, 2017 6pm. 

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

Confidence: Fair. 

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wind Slab- Wind slabs still exist in terrain lee to SE and SW loading. These slabs have remained touchy to human triggers and can be deep(80cm or more in the Alpine). These should settle quickly in the warming temperatures but will be loaded by rain to mountain tops starting Tuesday afternoon. Expect a large natural cycle of avalanches from treeline and above starting late Tuesday afternoon. These could be very large in the Alpine on wind loaded features or large at treeline where isolated touchy wind slabs were present.

Loose Wet- Solar warming on south aspects on Monday could start steep slopes warmed by sun to start reacting in surface layers. By late tuesday loose wet avalanches will be more widespread as rain to mountain tops saturates the snow pack and starts releasing surface and deeper layers on all aspects. 

Travel/Terrain Advice: Travel in the Alpine Wednesday is not recommended. Continued caution on wind loaded terrain Monday and Tuesday is essential. Widespread rain at all elevations will create Dangerous and very Dangerous avalanche conditions.

Past Weather: Small amounts of snow and freezing levels around 1000m have created little change in conditions since Friday. Wind slabs have been slow to settle.

Avalanche Summary:  A skier triggered size 2 slab avalanche on wind loaded terrain in Mt Cain's west bowl (Sliders)caused no injuries only lost gear.

Snowpack Description: 

Surface-  Up to 70cm storm snow. Melt surfaces now below 1600m 

Upper- A variety of new snow layers exist in the upper snowpack depending on elevation and wind effect. Many of these layers contain buried surface hoar creating weaknesses. 

Mid- Well settled.

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

Weather Forecast:

Monday - Sunny no precipitation. Winds SE to 47kmh.  Freezing level 2900m.  

Tuesday-  Rain beginning afternoon 20-27mm by midnight. Winds SE to 81kmh.  Freezing level 2400m.

Wednesday- Continued intense rain up to 75mm .  Winds SE to 90kmh . Freezing level to 2000m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

 

View older posts »

Friday 17 February 2017

February 17, 2017 at 09:54AM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Sunday 19 February, 2017 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, lack of Alpine observations.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wind Slab- Wind slabs from previous cycles still exist in lees to SE-SW winds at Treeline and Alpine. These sensitive slabs will be further loaded by rain saturation and at the highest elevations by new wind loading and snow. Although warmer temperatures will have been settling these bonds the areas with a transition to colder temps will be most suspect(1300-1600m) and difficult to determine. These avalanches could be human triggered and large in the Alpine in wind loaded terrain. Human triggered avalanches could be large in isolated wind loaded terrain at the highest elevations and coldest locations at Treeline. 

Storm Slab- Particularly in the Alpine where snow has been accumulating, new snow amounts of over 100cm could develop  Dangerous storm slabs. These would be widespread on all aspects and humans could trigger small avalanches in many areas or  large in specific areas that have accumulated snow instead of rain. Isolated very high terrain that combines wind effect could be human triggered to very large.

Travel/Terrain Advice:  The current weather seems stable for a few days with normal freezing levels, snowmobilers will have visibility to higher elevations and should be very cautious about triggering large avalanches in many locations, skiing conditions are poor in some locations and the temptation will be to explore more lee terrain at higher elevations, this is exactly where the Danger is the highest. Dangerous and heightened avalanche conditions still exist. Evaluate terrain and snow conditions carefully to identify features of concern. 

Past Weather: Rain started Tuesday with freezing level to 2000m at times and continued through Wednesday. As much as 115mm rain fell during the event. Freezing levels have returned to 1000m and 5-8cm new has fallen above 1300m

Avalanche Summary: Natural size 3 slab avalanche observed on Albert Edward, East aspect. Many loose wet at treeline up to 1.5.

 Snowpack Description: 

Surface-  Rain saturated and new snow above 1300m exists. Melt surfaces now below 1600m. Wind effect on exposed areas.

Upper- A variety of new snow layers exist in the upper snowpack depending on elevation and wind effect. Many of these older layers contain buried surface hoar creating weaknesses. Sensitive wind slabs and storm slabs of 80cm or greater exist at treeline and in the Alpine.

Mid- Well settled.

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

Weather Forecast:

Friday - up to 8cm precipitation. Winds SE-NW to 14kmh.  Freezing level 1000m .  

Saturday-  No new precipitation. Winds S to 10kmh.  Freezing level 1000m.

Sunday- 3-20cm new snow .  Winds SE to 65kmh later in day . Freezing level to 1000m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

 

Wednesday 15 February 2017

February 15, 2017 at 08:46AM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Friday 17 February, 2017 6pm. 

DANGER RATINGS (Make sure you understand the danger level meanings)
 
Outlook Wednesday Thursday Friday 
Alpine HIGH HIGH HIGH
Treeline CONSIDERABLE CONSIDERABLE CONSIDERABLE
Below Tree line MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE

Confidence: Fair, intensity, timing and freezing levels are not known with accuracy. 

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Loose Wet- Rain to mountain tops at times and some locations will loosen the surface snow and produce small loose wet avalanches in many areas and large avalanches in areas that funnel multiple start zones like gullies.

Wind Slab- Wind slabs from previous cycles still exist in lees to SE-SW winds at Treeline and above. These sensitive slabs will be further loaded by rain saturation and at higher elevations by new wind loading. These avalanches could be naturally triggered and very large in the Alpine and large in specific wind loaded terrain at Treeline. 

Storm Slab- Particularly in the Alpine where snow has been accumulating, new snow amounts could develop Very Dangerous storm slabs. These would be widespread on all aspects and could naturally release large avalanches in many areas or very large in specific areas which have existing old wind slabs in lees to Southerly winds.

Travel/Terrain Advice: Travel in Avalanche terrain in the Alpine is not recommended when the Danger Rating is High. Continued caution on wind loaded terrain is essential. Widespread rain at all elevations will create Dangerous and very Dangerous avalanche conditions.

Past Weather: Rain started Tuesday with freezing level to 2000m at times in some locations.

Avalanche Summary:  Snowpack Description: 

Surface-  Rain saturated and new snow above 1600m exists. Melt surfaces now below 1600m 

Upper- A variety of new snow layers exist in the upper snowpack depending on elevation and wind effect. Many of these layers contain buried surface hoar creating weaknesses. Sensitive wind slabs of 80cm or greater exist at treeline and above.

Mid- Well settled.

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

Weather Forecast:

Wednesday - 20-130mm precipitation depending on location most on west and central areas. Winds SE to 80kmh.  Freezing level 2800m at times.  

Thursday-  7-90mm precipitation. Winds SE to 70kmh.  Freezing level 1000-1800m.

Friday- 5-15cm new snow .  Winds SW to 65kmh . Freezing level to 900m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

 

Monday 13 February 2017

February 13, 2017 at 10:18AM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Wednesday 15 February, 2017 6pm. 

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

Confidence: Fair. 

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wind Slab- Wind slabs still exist in terrain lee to SE and SW loading. These slabs have remained touchy to human triggers and can be deep(80cm or more in the Alpine). These should settle quickly in the warming temperatures but will be loaded by rain to mountain tops starting Tuesday afternoon. Expect a large natural cycle of avalanches from treeline and above starting late Tuesday afternoon. These could be very large in the Alpine on wind loaded features or large at treeline where isolated touchy wind slabs were present.

Loose Wet- Solar warming on south aspects on Monday could start steep slopes warmed by sun to start reacting in surface layers. By late tuesday loose wet avalanches will be more widespread as rain to mountain tops saturates the snow pack and starts releasing surface and deeper layers on all aspects. 

Travel/Terrain Advice: Travel in the Alpine Wednesday is not recommended. Continued caution on wind loaded terrain Monday and Tuesday is essential. Widespread rain at all elevations will create Dangerous and very Dangerous avalanche conditions.

Past Weather: Small amounts of snow and freezing levels around 1000m have created little change in conditions since Friday. Wind slabs have been slow to settle.

Avalanche Summary:  A skier triggered size 2 slab avalanche on wind loaded terrain in Mt Cain's west bowl (Sliders)caused no injuries only lost gear.

Snowpack Description: 

Surface-  Up to 70cm storm snow. Melt surfaces now below 1600m 

Upper- A variety of new snow layers exist in the upper snowpack depending on elevation and wind effect. Many of these layers contain buried surface hoar creating weaknesses. 

Mid- Well settled.

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

Weather Forecast:

Monday - Sunny no precipitation. Winds SE to 47kmh.  Freezing level 2900m.  

Tuesday-  Rain beginning afternoon 20-27mm by midnight. Winds SE to 81kmh.  Freezing level 2400m.

Wednesday- Continued intense rain up to 75mm .  Winds SE to 90kmh . Freezing level to 2000m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

 

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.