Monday January 18, 2021
Travel & Terrain Advice
Be cognizant of snow conditions and utilize small slopes to test and investigate snowpack stability prior to stepping out into large slopes.
Careful and cautious route finding when transitioning from scoured areas into areas of wind loaded snow. Avoid traveling below and above cornice features as they are large and generally unstable.
Avoid open and steep slopes during periods of warming and rain; even small loose wet avalanches will have enough mass to push a mountain traveler into gullies and over cliffs.
Currently we are experiencing generally safe avalanche conditions, particularly at the Below Treeline and Treeline Elevation bands however watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
No new avalanches reported over the past several days. Please keep the observations coming! Thank you to those who took the time to post a MIN report or submit obs via our email email@example.com or via social media. It is much appreciated! Thank you Ben Godwin, SportNewK and Skafti and Theron Finley for your reports.
Redistribution of snow due to wind was observed in the Alpine Elevation band yesterday (Jan 17) and based on additional (but limited) precipitation and accompanying strong winds there remains a possibility for initiating wind slab avalanches on specific and isolated terrain features particularly at the Alpine Elevation band.
Location: Found in Alpine and at upper Tree line elevation band specific to terrain just below ridge top and in down wind areas.
Possibility: Triggering of this avalanche problem is possible from light loads such as skiers and snowmobilers. Natural avalanches are unlikely.
Size: If triggered expect these avalanches to be small, and on isolated terrain features large, size 2.
A series of fluctuating air temperatures have created an array of upper snowpack melt freeze and rain crusts all within the upper 40-50cm of the snowpack. Within 5-10 cm of the upper surface, a relatively supportive crust exists and at the Below Treeline elevation band this crust is exceptionally dense and firm and provides challenging ski/snowmobile conditions until it softens with day time heating.
|Surface||10-40 cm of melt freeze and rain crusts|
|Upper||well settled and bonded due to mild air temp and general "rounded" high density snow properties|
|Mid||well settled that includes a possible Facet persistent weak layer however the snowpack above is well bridged and supportive|
|Lower||Well settled and dense.|
Mild temps have promoted consolidation however rain and above zero degree air temperature have developed a series of crusts within the upper 50cm of the snowpack which could provide facet development should a cold air mass creep onto the island in the coming weeks.
Monday: No precipitation expected, Winds Light from the NorthWest, Freezing level will reach a high of 1600 meters.
Tuesday: 2-4cm Snow (possible rain/wet flurries at Below Treeline Elevation band), Winds Moderate from the SW increasing to Strong SW mountain top winds in the afternoon, Freezing level will reach a high of 1150 meters.
Wednesday: No precipitation expected, Winds Light from the North West, Freezing level 800M elevation
Posted on Monday January 18, 2021 by Ryan Shelly