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Current Bulletin

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Read about the limitations of this avalanche bulletin here.

Wednesday , 4 March 2015

March 4, 2015 at 12:27PM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Friday 6 March 6pm 

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

Confidence: Fair

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wind Slab- Very isolated shallow pockets of wind slab at treeline and above. These pockets have several layers with facets and react easily to triggers. They are thin and could only produce very small avalanches which may only be a concern in extreme terrain. Up to 5cm new snow in the mountains of Northern Vancouver Island late thursday will heighten this danger.

Travel/Terrain Advice: Hard surface hazard. Also watch for the windslab in protected areas that may produce small releases in extreme terrain that could have serious consequences.

Past Weather: No precipitation since Sunday. Sunny days but cool temperatures, limiting melt effect. Night time freezing level to 0 meters in some areas. Winds generally light to moderate North and west.

Avalanche Summary: No new avalanche activity reported. 

Snowpack  Description: The old snowpack prior to Sundays 4cm snow is rock solid. The new snow fell cold and low density and was transported readily by variable winds. This has created large areas of exposed old crust surface and pockets of shallow wind slab up to 20cm thick in isolated areas. These slabs have a variety of facets and layers and respond easily to triggers, but are generally small and thin. 

Weather Forecast:

Wednesday- Increasing cloud, winds light westerly, freezing level 1500m daytime.

Thursday- Cloudy afternoon precipitation up to 5mm in the north, winds southwest moderate,                        freezing level 1400- 2000m

Friday- Cloudy, trace of precipitation, winds southwest light, freezing level 2000m 

 Forecaster: Lyle Fast

Monday 2 March 2015

March 2, 2015 at 12:45PM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Wednesday 4 March 6pm 

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

Confidence: Fair

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Persistent Slab- Facets at old crusts 25/02/2015 may be persisting on shady aspects at higher elevations. Although new snow from 26/02/2015 may have settled to a shallow slab 10-15cm? little is known at this time about its strength. Wind accumulation will heighten the danger. These conditions could produce small avalanches in specific areas or large in isolated areas.

Loose wet- Several days of warm sunny weather have probably released most of last thursdays new snow off of rocky steep areas but continued sunny weather could soften more areas or cornices to the point of small loose avalanches, these could be large in isolated areas.

Travel/Terrain Advice: Continue to be aware of shallow cover of rocks etc. Once again long slides on melt freeze crust is a hazard. Afternoon warming of solar aspects may increase danger. Be cautious of shady wind accumulated slabs at higher elevations as the persistent facets may be a weak bond.

Past Weather: No new snow fell since friday except up to 3cm in some areas late Sunday. A melt freeze cycle established itself during the period.

Avalanche Summary: Isolated natural avalanches have been observed at Arrowsmith and on mountains in Strathcona park. These appear to have released from steep rocky areas above treeline, perhaps when new snow first warmed.

Snowpack  Description: Up to 20cm new snow from last Thursday has rapidly settled on most aspects and a melt freeze cycle has been at work for several days and will continue. The old crusts from 25/02/2015 may still have facets persisting on shady aspects at higher elevations, these may have slabs of up to 20cm wind accumulated snow on top. Lower snowpack below 25/02/2015 crusts remains of little concern. 

Weather Forecast:

Monday- Clear, moderate northerly winds, freezing level 1200-1400m daytime, 600m night.

Tuesday- Increasing cloud, light northwest winds, freezing levels 1200-1400m daytime, 600m night.

Wednesday- Mostly cloudy, light northwest winds, freezing level 1350m-1500m daytime,600m night.

 Forecaster: Lyle Fast

Friday, 27 January 2015

February 27, 2015 at 12:02PM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Sunday 1 March 6pm 

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

Confidence: Fair

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Storm Slab- 20cm new snow late thursday may be bonded poorly to old crust due to facetting on or just below previous crust surface. These conditions may exist on many aspects at treeline and above.

Wind slab- Moderate southerly winds will have increased potential slab depths on lee aspects. These potential slabs on Northeast, North and Northwest slopes above treeline maybe poorly bonded to old crust due to old facets on or below old crust surface

Travel/Terrain Advice: Examine the bonding of new snow to old crust before committing to slopes that have high consequences. Use extra caution on leeslopes above treeline. Be aware that on many slopes rocks, trees and open ground maybe covered only with unconsolidated new snow and could injure a skier easily!

Past Weather: Up to 20 cm new snow has fallen late thursday at elevations over 1000m.

Avalanche Summary: No new avalanches have been observed.

Snowpack  Description: Up to 20cm new snow is on top of  a very well settled old snowpack. In some locations multiple shallow crusts exist on the old surface combined with facetted crystals creating a still unknown strength of bond with new snow.

Weather Forecast:

Friday- Clearing, moderate northerly winds, freezing level 1200-1500m.

Saturday- Clear, increasing cloud in afternoon, light northwest winds, freezing levels 1200-2000m

Sunday- Cloudy with light precipitation, up to 4cm snow starting in afternoon, freezing level 1000m.

 Forecaster: Lyle Fast

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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.