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Friday 12 February 2016

February 12, 2016 at 10:42AM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Sunday 14 February, 2016 6pm.

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

Confidence: Moderate: fluctuating freezing levels and precipitation types with limited info for Alpine.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems)

      Loose Wet- Rising freezing levels near the end of the forecast period and rain will effect new snow accumulations potentially producing touchy loose wet avalanches, sluffs and pin wheels on steeper terrain 

     Windslab- Accumulations of new snow mid forecast period at treeline and above will be transported into lee and cross loaded features via moderate-strong SW-SE winds.  This could form stubborn windslabs on NW-NE aspects

     Wet Slab - Forecast rain at all elevations near the end of the forecast period may fall on zones of windslab produced earlier.  This additional weight and warmth may result in the release of wet slabs at treeline and above on previously loaded lee aspects and in cross loaded zones in the NW-NE.  

 

Travel/Terrain Advice:  Fluctuating freezing levels will effect the type of precip (rain vs snow) that will accumulate during this forecast period.  Careful evaluation of local conditions (especially when moving into different elevation bands) will be essential. Dangerous avalanche conditions will exist that require attention and cautious route finding. Avoid lee and cross loaded features on NW-NE asp from treeline and above and avoid all avalanche terrain as rain saturates new snow accumulations.     

Past Weather- Up to 14mm of precipitation since Wednesday.  Freezing level variable from 500m-2000m.  Approx 6cm of new snow above 1400m late Thursday.

Avalanche Summary: Minor pin-wheels reported but no new avalanche activity noted 

Snowpack  Description-

Surface Conditions- Some small accumulations of warm new snow bonding well to old crust layers.

Upper- Warm and moist upper and snow pack with mod-strong bonding and settling, below a near surface melt freeze crust (crust has variable support to skis and is breakable in some areas).

Mid- Mild temps have promoted rounding and settling of the mid snow pack, limiting concerns of persistent weak layers from earlier in the season.

Lower- Well settled.

Weather Forecast:

Friday - 5-20mm precipitation mostly rain, changing to small accumulations of snow. Winds  SW to 38kmh.  Freezing level 2000-1000m.  

Saturday-  15-30cm snow and possible mixed precipitation at lower elevations. Winds SE to 75kmh . Freezing level 800-1800m.

Sunday-  20-40mm of mixed precipitation changing to rain. Winds SW to 10-40kmh. Freezing level 1000-2500m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Bill Phipps

Wednesday 10 February 2016

February 10, 2016 at 01:56PM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Friday 12 February, 2016 6pm.

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

Confidence: Poor, freezing levels fluctuating radically and a lack of Alpine observations.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems)

      Loose Wet- Warm temperatures and rain will trigger many small loose wet avalanches naturally. These could be large in gullies and areas that have long or multiple start zones or very large in the Alpine if they trigger deeper instabilities. Humans could likely trigger avalanches on steeper terrain during maximum warming and rain.

     Cornices- Rain and warm temperatures will continue to make cornice release a hazard. Be wary of routes vulnerable to cornice release.

     Wind/Wet Slab - The fluctuating freezing levels could bring a mix of rain and snow to the Alpine and could release wind slabs in lees to SE naturally or likely with human triggers. These could be large in wind loaded lees to SE winds or very large in isolated areas that may even have deeper instabilities from earlier events. Fridays freezing levels will bring more snow to the Alpine.

 

Travel/Terrain Advice:  Warming, rain and new snow maybe Friday is creating Dangerous avalanche conditions that require careful snowpack evaluation and cautious route finding. Extra caution is required in the Alpine as deeper slabs may exist in the snowpack.

Past Weather- Up to 3mm rain as freezing levels climbed to over 3500m at times since Monday. Daytime warming and solar effect on Monday and Tuesday.

Avalanche Summary: Many small loose and pinwheeling observed.

Snowpack  Description-

Surface Conditions- melt/rain saturation and crust.

Upper- sloppy wet at treeline but  touchy layers may still exist in the alpine.

Mid- From January 27 rain crust down snow pack is rapidly settling removing persistent weak layer.

Lower- Well settled.

Weather Forecast:

Wednesday - 5-20mm precipitation rain or 20cm snow. Winds  SE to 75kmh.  Freezing level 1200-2000m.  

Thursday-  14-35mm precipitation rain or 35cm snow. Winds SE to 75kmh . Freezing level 1000-2400m.

Friday-  7-30mm snow . Winds S to 60kmh. Freezing level 1200-1400m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

Monday 8 February 2016

February 8, 2016 at 11:52AM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Wednesday 10 February, 2016 6pm.

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

Confidence: Fair, lack of feedback on alpine conditions.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems)

      Loose Wet- Very warm mountain temperatures through the period along with solar effect will trigger many small loose wet avalanches naturally. These could be large in gullies and areas that have long or multiple start zones or very large in the Alpine if they trigger deeper instabilities. Humans could likely trigger avalanches on steeper terrain during maximum solar effect.

      Storm/Wet Slab - Some areas of the Alpine did not reach temperatures above freezing before Monday and accumulated deep slabs from last weekends snowfall. These are now warming and could release naturally or likely with human triggers. These could be large in wind loaded lees to SE winds or very large in isolated areas that may even have deeper instabilities from earlier events. Wednesdays freezing levels could bring more snow to the Alpine.

 

Travel/Terrain Advice:  Warming is creating Dangerous avalanche conditions that require careful snowpack evaluation and cautious route finding. Extra caution is required in the Alpine as deeper slabs may exist in the rapidly warming snowpack.

Past Weather- Up to 65mm precipitation has fallen since Friday with varying amounts as snow or rain depending on elevation and area. Strong to very strong SE winds accompanied the precipitation. Freezing levels varied from 300m to 2200m during the period. 

Avalanche Summary: Two size 2 naturals were observed Friday at Mt Cain, west bowl ,Treeline ,West aspect.

Snowpack  Description-

Surface Conditions- melt/rain saturation and crust.

Upper- sloppy wet at treeline but  touchy layers may exist still in alpine.

Mid- From January 27 rain crust down snow pack is isothermic and rapidly settling removing persistent weak layer.

Lower- Well settled.

Weather Forecast:

Monday - Trace or no precipitation. Winds  S to 25kmh.  Freezing level 3600m.  

Tuesday-  Trace or no precipitation. Winds SE to 60kmh . Freezing level 2800-3200m.

Wednesday-  5-20mm snow or rain. Winds S to SE  to 60kmh. Freezing level 1600-1900m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

View older posts »

Friday 12 February 2016

February 12, 2016 at 10:42AM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Sunday 14 February, 2016 6pm.

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

Confidence: Moderate: fluctuating freezing levels and precipitation types with limited info for Alpine.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems)

      Loose Wet- Rising freezing levels near the end of the forecast period and rain will effect new snow accumulations potentially producing touchy loose wet avalanches, sluffs and pin wheels on steeper terrain 

     Windslab- Accumulations of new snow mid forecast period at treeline and above will be transported into lee and cross loaded features via moderate-strong SW-SE winds.  This could form stubborn windslabs on NW-NE aspects

     Wet Slab - Forecast rain at all elevations near the end of the forecast period may fall on zones of windslab produced earlier.  This additional weight and warmth may result in the release of wet slabs at treeline and above on previously loaded lee aspects and in cross loaded zones in the NW-NE.  

 

Travel/Terrain Advice:  Fluctuating freezing levels will effect the type of precip (rain vs snow) that will accumulate during this forecast period.  Careful evaluation of local conditions (especially when moving into different elevation bands) will be essential. Dangerous avalanche conditions will exist that require attention and cautious route finding. Avoid lee and cross loaded features on NW-NE asp from treeline and above and avoid all avalanche terrain as rain saturates new snow accumulations.     

Past Weather- Up to 14mm of precipitation since Wednesday.  Freezing level variable from 500m-2000m.  Approx 6cm of new snow above 1400m late Thursday.

Avalanche Summary: Minor pin-wheels reported but no new avalanche activity noted 

Snowpack  Description-

Surface Conditions- Some small accumulations of warm new snow bonding well to old crust layers.

Upper- Warm and moist upper and snow pack with mod-strong bonding and settling, below a near surface melt freeze crust (crust has variable support to skis and is breakable in some areas).

Mid- Mild temps have promoted rounding and settling of the mid snow pack, limiting concerns of persistent weak layers from earlier in the season.

Lower- Well settled.

Weather Forecast:

Friday - 5-20mm precipitation mostly rain, changing to small accumulations of snow. Winds  SW to 38kmh.  Freezing level 2000-1000m.  

Saturday-  15-30cm snow and possible mixed precipitation at lower elevations. Winds SE to 75kmh . Freezing level 800-1800m.

Sunday-  20-40mm of mixed precipitation changing to rain. Winds SW to 10-40kmh. Freezing level 1000-2500m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Bill Phipps

Wednesday 10 February 2016

February 10, 2016 at 01:56PM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Friday 12 February, 2016 6pm.

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

Confidence: Poor, freezing levels fluctuating radically and a lack of Alpine observations.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems)

      Loose Wet- Warm temperatures and rain will trigger many small loose wet avalanches naturally. These could be large in gullies and areas that have long or multiple start zones or very large in the Alpine if they trigger deeper instabilities. Humans could likely trigger avalanches on steeper terrain during maximum warming and rain.

     Cornices- Rain and warm temperatures will continue to make cornice release a hazard. Be wary of routes vulnerable to cornice release.

     Wind/Wet Slab - The fluctuating freezing levels could bring a mix of rain and snow to the Alpine and could release wind slabs in lees to SE naturally or likely with human triggers. These could be large in wind loaded lees to SE winds or very large in isolated areas that may even have deeper instabilities from earlier events. Fridays freezing levels will bring more snow to the Alpine.

 

Travel/Terrain Advice:  Warming, rain and new snow maybe Friday is creating Dangerous avalanche conditions that require careful snowpack evaluation and cautious route finding. Extra caution is required in the Alpine as deeper slabs may exist in the snowpack.

Past Weather- Up to 3mm rain as freezing levels climbed to over 3500m at times since Monday. Daytime warming and solar effect on Monday and Tuesday.

Avalanche Summary: Many small loose and pinwheeling observed.

Snowpack  Description-

Surface Conditions- melt/rain saturation and crust.

Upper- sloppy wet at treeline but  touchy layers may still exist in the alpine.

Mid- From January 27 rain crust down snow pack is rapidly settling removing persistent weak layer.

Lower- Well settled.

Weather Forecast:

Wednesday - 5-20mm precipitation rain or 20cm snow. Winds  SE to 75kmh.  Freezing level 1200-2000m.  

Thursday-  14-35mm precipitation rain or 35cm snow. Winds SE to 75kmh . Freezing level 1000-2400m.

Friday-  7-30mm snow . Winds S to 60kmh. Freezing level 1200-1400m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

Monday 8 February 2016

February 8, 2016 at 11:52AM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Wednesday 10 February, 2016 6pm.

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

Confidence: Fair, lack of feedback on alpine conditions.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems)

      Loose Wet- Very warm mountain temperatures through the period along with solar effect will trigger many small loose wet avalanches naturally. These could be large in gullies and areas that have long or multiple start zones or very large in the Alpine if they trigger deeper instabilities. Humans could likely trigger avalanches on steeper terrain during maximum solar effect.

      Storm/Wet Slab - Some areas of the Alpine did not reach temperatures above freezing before Monday and accumulated deep slabs from last weekends snowfall. These are now warming and could release naturally or likely with human triggers. These could be large in wind loaded lees to SE winds or very large in isolated areas that may even have deeper instabilities from earlier events. Wednesdays freezing levels could bring more snow to the Alpine.

 

Travel/Terrain Advice:  Warming is creating Dangerous avalanche conditions that require careful snowpack evaluation and cautious route finding. Extra caution is required in the Alpine as deeper slabs may exist in the rapidly warming snowpack.

Past Weather- Up to 65mm precipitation has fallen since Friday with varying amounts as snow or rain depending on elevation and area. Strong to very strong SE winds accompanied the precipitation. Freezing levels varied from 300m to 2200m during the period. 

Avalanche Summary: Two size 2 naturals were observed Friday at Mt Cain, west bowl ,Treeline ,West aspect.

Snowpack  Description-

Surface Conditions- melt/rain saturation and crust.

Upper- sloppy wet at treeline but  touchy layers may exist still in alpine.

Mid- From January 27 rain crust down snow pack is isothermic and rapidly settling removing persistent weak layer.

Lower- Well settled.

Weather Forecast:

Monday - Trace or no precipitation. Winds  S to 25kmh.  Freezing level 3600m.  

Tuesday-  Trace or no precipitation. Winds SE to 60kmh . Freezing level 2800-3200m.

Wednesday-  5-20mm snow or rain. Winds S to SE  to 60kmh. Freezing level 1600-1900m. 

 

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.