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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

The 2016/2017 season Is about to begin!

November 21, 2016 at 12:55PM

With at least a metre of snow in the forecast during the coming week there is going to be avalanche hazard developing at tree line and above and perhaps below tree line as well.

We do not have enough field data to produce an avalanche forecast for the island at present but we are aware that with the coming snow islanders will likely be heading for the mountains.

Here are a few things to look out for if you are heading out:

  • The main avalanche problems at play in the alpine and at tree line will likely be storm slab and wind slab.
  • Be aware of how much new snow has fallen. 30cm or more of new snow in the last 48 hours or significant loading of snow by wind should both be of concern.
  • Be aware of the direction that the wind has been blowing and where the wind has loaded snow into the terrain.
  • Watch for signs of instability in the snow such as cracks, shooting cracks, drum like sounds or "whumpfing".
  • Look out for signs of natural avalanche activity.
  • When the above signs are evident, stay off steeper terrain, convex slopes and slopes with terrain traps below and opt instead for low angle and/or well treed slopes.
  • Below tree line beware of thinly covered hazards such as rocks and stumps.

If you are making trips into the backcountry please make note of any and all observations and send them to our forecasters at forecaster@islandavalanchebulletin.com. It does not matter how much experience or training you have, your information is of value to all users of this bulletin.

Also please keep the following general advice in mind:

1) Make sure you have avalanche training.

2) Carry the right equipment and be proficient with it (transceiver, shovel and probe).

3) Plan your trips carefully.

 

 

View older posts »

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

The 2016/2017 season Is about to begin!

November 21, 2016 at 12:55PM

With at least a metre of snow in the forecast during the coming week there is going to be avalanche hazard developing at tree line and above and perhaps below tree line as well.

We do not have enough field data to produce an avalanche forecast for the island at present but we are aware that with the coming snow islanders will likely be heading for the mountains.

Here are a few things to look out for if you are heading out:

  • The main avalanche problems at play in the alpine and at tree line will likely be storm slab and wind slab.
  • Be aware of how much new snow has fallen. 30cm or more of new snow in the last 48 hours or significant loading of snow by wind should both be of concern.
  • Be aware of the direction that the wind has been blowing and where the wind has loaded snow into the terrain.
  • Watch for signs of instability in the snow such as cracks, shooting cracks, drum like sounds or "whumpfing".
  • Look out for signs of natural avalanche activity.
  • When the above signs are evident, stay off steeper terrain, convex slopes and slopes with terrain traps below and opt instead for low angle and/or well treed slopes.
  • Below tree line beware of thinly covered hazards such as rocks and stumps.

If you are making trips into the backcountry please make note of any and all observations and send them to our forecasters at forecaster@islandavalanchebulletin.com. It does not matter how much experience or training you have, your information is of value to all users of this bulletin.

Also please keep the following general advice in mind:

1) Make sure you have avalanche training.

2) Carry the right equipment and be proficient with it (transceiver, shovel and probe).

3) Plan your trips carefully.

 

 

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.