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blog post

January 23, 2017 at 11:21AM

The legendary Party for the Bulletin is next weekend! An amazing silent auction, delicious beer from our friends at Cumberland Brewing, dance'n tunes and more await you. Come out and support your source of avalanche info on Vancouver Island. Tickets are on sale on line or from Tarbell's Deli in Cumberland or Ski Tak Hut in Courtenay. This event always sells out so get your tickets now.

 

This Bulletin Valid Until: Wednesday 25 January, 2017 6pm. 

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

Confidence: Fair.  No reported Alpine conditions.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wind Slab- Scattered snow flurry activity over last three days with strong southerly winds has created a variety of shallow wind slabs at treeline and above. These slabs have a variety of internal bonds depending on local conditions during accumulation. While generally well bonded to old crust, sensitive slabs are releasing on buried surface hoar in the new snow as deep as 20cm and could be deeper in lees in the Alpine. At treeline these avalanches could be small in wind loaded areas but may run fast and far on old crust layer in steep terrain. At treeline isolated areas of heavy loading in North gullies may create large avalanches. In Alpine terrain these wind slabs may create large human triggered avalanches on large open wind loaded terrain lee to Southerly winds. 

Travel/Terrain Advice: Carefully assess bonding when encountering wind slab. Consider consequences of small avalanches when terrain traps exist and modify route. Conservative route finding and decision making will be essential in the Alpine.

Past Weather: Scattered flurries and lowering freezing levels saw up to 12cm of new snow at treeline. These amounts could be greater in the Alpine and some central island mountains. Strong southerly winds transported new snow readily over the old frozen crust.

Avalanche Summary: Snowmobilers reported sensitive shallow slabs on convexities below treeline.

Snowpack Description:  

Surface- Frozen crust and new wind slabs in many areas. New wind slabs have shallow layers with buried surface hoar that will likely settle over time.

Upper- A variety of new snow layers exist in the upper snowpack depending on elevation and wind effect. These are now rain saturated and cooling to varying degrees depending on elevation. 

Mid- Well settled.

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

Weather Forecast:

Monday - No new snow. Sunny periods. Winds NW to 36kmh.  Freezing level peaking mid day to 1100m .  

Tuesday-  No new snow. Sunny periods. Winds NW to 30kmh.  Freezing level  to 900m .

Wednesday- Trace to 3cm new snow. Winds Southerly to 20kmh. Freezing level 600-1000m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

Friday 20 January 2017

January 20, 2017 at 05:58AM

The legendary Party for the Bulletin is less than two weeks away! An amazing silent auction, delicious beer from our friends at Cumberland Brewing, dance'n tunes and more await you. Come out and support your source of avalanche info on Vancouver Island. Tickets are on sale on line or from Tarbell's Deli in Cumberland or Ski Tak Hut in Courtenay. This event always sells out so get your tickets now.

 

This Bulletin Valid Until: Sunday 22 January, 2017 6pm. 

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

Confidence: Fair.  Very little feedback on new snow bonding.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wind Slab- Variable freezing levels and winds during this cycle will have created a variety of Dangerous wind slab conditions from 1400m and above. Few observations are available for conditions at this time. Freezing levels to 1900m will have created crusts now loaded with new snow layers that will be very variable at different elevations above 1400m. Continued SE winds and moderate snowfall will keep loading lee terrain over the next three days. Humans could likely trigger avalanches in many loaded lee areas. These avalanches could be small in many areas treeline and large in the Alpine. Very large human triggered avalanches are possible in the Alpine where the most snow has accumulated during this cycle.

​Storm Slab- Up to another 46 cm of storm snow may have fallen at the highest elevations in the Alpine. This new storm snow may be on melt freeze crusts and at this time little is known of the bonding at this interface. Continued new snow over the next three days will further load these layers. Humans could trigger small avalanches in many areas on all aspects over 1600m. These could be large to very large as elevation and accumulations increase. 

 

Travel/Terrain Advice: Closely and carefully assess snowpack as you get to higher elevations. Examine the bonding and crust formation with changing elevation. Be cautious to avoid wind loaded terrain and make conservative decisions until current conditions are understood better.

Past Weather: As much as 46mm precipitation has fallen since Wednesday with freezing levels to 1900m and strong to very strong winds. Thursday saw freezing levels dropping to 1000m

Avalanche Summary: There has been a widespread natural cycle of avalanches to at least size 2 at treeline and above. this activity should have slowed with lowering freezing levels Thursday.

Snowpack Description:  

Surface- Rain saturated melting surface with new snow accumulating depending on elevation.

Upper- A variety of new snow layers exist in the upper snowpack depending on elevation and wind effect. These are now rain saturated to varying degrees depending on elevation. Some of these layers are dense and may be poorly bonded in specific locations. 

Mid- Well settled.

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

Weather Forecast:

Friday - 3-12cm new snow. Winds SE to 66kmh.  Freezing level 1000m .  

Saturday-  4-13cm new snow. Winds SE to 69kmh.  Freezing level 900m .

Sunday- 4-12cm new snow. Winds ESE to 59kmh. Freezing level 800m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

Wednesday 18 January 2017

January 18, 2017 at 10:16AM

The legendary Party for the Bulletin is less than two weeks away! An amazing silent auction, delicious beer from our friends at Cumberland Brewing, dance'n tunes and more await you. Come out and support your source of avalanche info on Vancouver Island. Tickets are on sale on line or from Tarbell's Deli in Cumberland or Ski Tak Hut in Courtenay. This event always sells out so get your tickets now.

 

This Bulletin Valid Until: Friday 20 January, 2017 6pm. 

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

Confidence: Fair. Freezing levels and precipitation amounts vary in the modelling.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Loose Wet- Continued heavy rain to 1900m in some locations will contribute to loose wet avalanche hazard. This will be widespread and natural avalanches are likely. In the Alpine this may result in large avalanches in many areas. At treeline expect small avalanches in many areas. Below treelike remains heighten avalanches conditions with the greatest hazard being previous wind loaded terrain now deeply rain saturated.

Wet Slab- Preexisting slab conditions and new wind and storm slabs at the highest elevations will be heavily loaded by rainfall Tuesday and Wednesday.  These avalanches could likely be triggered naturally in many areas and could be very large in the Alpine on any aspect and large at treeline on wind loaded specific terrain. Small avalanches are likely to be human triggered at treeline in many areas.

Wind Slab- High winds SE and Heavy precipitation amounts will have created very dangerous avalanche conditions in the Alpine at the highest elevations. Natural avalanches are likely in the Alpine. These avalanches will be large in the Alpine in many areas. At treeline these will be large in specific terrain loaded by Southerly winds. These could be very large in areas that have sensitive slabs from previous conditions.

 

Travel/Terrain Advice: Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended when the Danger level is high. When Dangerous avalanche conditions exist it is essential to evaluate snowpack carefully, choose cautious routes and make conservative decisions. Conditions Wednesday are unlikely to be good for skiing so avoiding travel in avalanche terrain is recommended. 

Past Weather: As much as 146-190mm precipitation has fallen since Monday with freezing levels to 1900m and strong to very strong winds.

Avalanche Summary: A snowmobiler reported triggering a deep slab in wind loaded terrain on Sunday in the Mt Washington area. No injuries but this highlights concerns of wind loaded terrain at all elevations from below treeline and above.

Snowpack Description:  

Surface- Rain saturated melting surface.

Upper- A variety of new snow layers exist in the upper snowpack depending on elevation and wind effect. These are now rain saturated to varying degrees. Some of these layers are dense and may be poorly bonded in specific locations. 

Mid- Well settled.

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

Weather Forecast:

Wednesday - 12-33mm precipitation. Winds SE to 80kmh.  Freezing level  1900m .  

Thursday-  8-33cm new snow or rain. Winds SE to 48kmh.  Freezing level varying to 1100m .

Friday- 2-7cm new snow. Winds SE to 55kmh. Freezing level 1000m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

View older posts »

blog post

January 23, 2017 at 11:21AM

The legendary Party for the Bulletin is next weekend! An amazing silent auction, delicious beer from our friends at Cumberland Brewing, dance'n tunes and more await you. Come out and support your source of avalanche info on Vancouver Island. Tickets are on sale on line or from Tarbell's Deli in Cumberland or Ski Tak Hut in Courtenay. This event always sells out so get your tickets now.

 

This Bulletin Valid Until: Wednesday 25 January, 2017 6pm. 

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

Confidence: Fair.  No reported Alpine conditions.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wind Slab- Scattered snow flurry activity over last three days with strong southerly winds has created a variety of shallow wind slabs at treeline and above. These slabs have a variety of internal bonds depending on local conditions during accumulation. While generally well bonded to old crust, sensitive slabs are releasing on buried surface hoar in the new snow as deep as 20cm and could be deeper in lees in the Alpine. At treeline these avalanches could be small in wind loaded areas but may run fast and far on old crust layer in steep terrain. At treeline isolated areas of heavy loading in North gullies may create large avalanches. In Alpine terrain these wind slabs may create large human triggered avalanches on large open wind loaded terrain lee to Southerly winds. 

Travel/Terrain Advice: Carefully assess bonding when encountering wind slab. Consider consequences of small avalanches when terrain traps exist and modify route. Conservative route finding and decision making will be essential in the Alpine.

Past Weather: Scattered flurries and lowering freezing levels saw up to 12cm of new snow at treeline. These amounts could be greater in the Alpine and some central island mountains. Strong southerly winds transported new snow readily over the old frozen crust.

Avalanche Summary: Snowmobilers reported sensitive shallow slabs on convexities below treeline.

Snowpack Description:  

Surface- Frozen crust and new wind slabs in many areas. New wind slabs have shallow layers with buried surface hoar that will likely settle over time.

Upper- A variety of new snow layers exist in the upper snowpack depending on elevation and wind effect. These are now rain saturated and cooling to varying degrees depending on elevation. 

Mid- Well settled.

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

Weather Forecast:

Monday - No new snow. Sunny periods. Winds NW to 36kmh.  Freezing level peaking mid day to 1100m .  

Tuesday-  No new snow. Sunny periods. Winds NW to 30kmh.  Freezing level  to 900m .

Wednesday- Trace to 3cm new snow. Winds Southerly to 20kmh. Freezing level 600-1000m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

Friday 20 January 2017

January 20, 2017 at 05:58AM

The legendary Party for the Bulletin is less than two weeks away! An amazing silent auction, delicious beer from our friends at Cumberland Brewing, dance'n tunes and more await you. Come out and support your source of avalanche info on Vancouver Island. Tickets are on sale on line or from Tarbell's Deli in Cumberland or Ski Tak Hut in Courtenay. This event always sells out so get your tickets now.

 

This Bulletin Valid Until: Sunday 22 January, 2017 6pm. 

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

Confidence: Fair.  Very little feedback on new snow bonding.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wind Slab- Variable freezing levels and winds during this cycle will have created a variety of Dangerous wind slab conditions from 1400m and above. Few observations are available for conditions at this time. Freezing levels to 1900m will have created crusts now loaded with new snow layers that will be very variable at different elevations above 1400m. Continued SE winds and moderate snowfall will keep loading lee terrain over the next three days. Humans could likely trigger avalanches in many loaded lee areas. These avalanches could be small in many areas treeline and large in the Alpine. Very large human triggered avalanches are possible in the Alpine where the most snow has accumulated during this cycle.

​Storm Slab- Up to another 46 cm of storm snow may have fallen at the highest elevations in the Alpine. This new storm snow may be on melt freeze crusts and at this time little is known of the bonding at this interface. Continued new snow over the next three days will further load these layers. Humans could trigger small avalanches in many areas on all aspects over 1600m. These could be large to very large as elevation and accumulations increase. 

 

Travel/Terrain Advice: Closely and carefully assess snowpack as you get to higher elevations. Examine the bonding and crust formation with changing elevation. Be cautious to avoid wind loaded terrain and make conservative decisions until current conditions are understood better.

Past Weather: As much as 46mm precipitation has fallen since Wednesday with freezing levels to 1900m and strong to very strong winds. Thursday saw freezing levels dropping to 1000m

Avalanche Summary: There has been a widespread natural cycle of avalanches to at least size 2 at treeline and above. this activity should have slowed with lowering freezing levels Thursday.

Snowpack Description:  

Surface- Rain saturated melting surface with new snow accumulating depending on elevation.

Upper- A variety of new snow layers exist in the upper snowpack depending on elevation and wind effect. These are now rain saturated to varying degrees depending on elevation. Some of these layers are dense and may be poorly bonded in specific locations. 

Mid- Well settled.

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

Weather Forecast:

Friday - 3-12cm new snow. Winds SE to 66kmh.  Freezing level 1000m .  

Saturday-  4-13cm new snow. Winds SE to 69kmh.  Freezing level 900m .

Sunday- 4-12cm new snow. Winds ESE to 59kmh. Freezing level 800m. 

 

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

Wednesday 18 January 2017

January 18, 2017 at 10:16AM

The legendary Party for the Bulletin is less than two weeks away! An amazing silent auction, delicious beer from our friends at Cumberland Brewing, dance'n tunes and more await you. Come out and support your source of avalanche info on Vancouver Island. Tickets are on sale on line or from Tarbell's Deli in Cumberland or Ski Tak Hut in Courtenay. This event always sells out so get your tickets now.

 

This Bulletin Valid Until: Friday 20 January, 2017 6pm. 

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

Confidence: Fair. Freezing levels and precipitation amounts vary in the modelling.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Loose Wet- Continued heavy rain to 1900m in some locations will contribute to loose wet avalanche hazard. This will be widespread and natural avalanches are likely. In the Alpine this may result in large avalanches in many areas. At treeline expect small avalanches in many areas. Below treelike remains heighten avalanches conditions with the greatest hazard being previous wind loaded terrain now deeply rain saturated.

Wet Slab- Preexisting slab conditions and new wind and storm slabs at the highest elevations will be heavily loaded by rainfall Tuesday and Wednesday.  These avalanches could likely be triggered naturally in many areas and could be very large in the Alpine on any aspect and large at treeline on wind loaded specific terrain. Small avalanches are likely to be human triggered at treeline in many areas.

Wind Slab- High winds SE and Heavy precipitation amounts will have created very dangerous avalanche conditions in the Alpine at the highest elevations. Natural avalanches are likely in the Alpine. These avalanches will be large in the Alpine in many areas. At treeline these will be large in specific terrain loaded by Southerly winds. These could be very large in areas that have sensitive slabs from previous conditions.

 

Travel/Terrain Advice: Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended when the Danger level is high. When Dangerous avalanche conditions exist it is essential to evaluate snowpack carefully, choose cautious routes and make conservative decisions. Conditions Wednesday are unlikely to be good for skiing so avoiding travel in avalanche terrain is recommended. 

Past Weather: As much as 146-190mm precipitation has fallen since Monday with freezing levels to 1900m and strong to very strong winds.

Avalanche Summary: A snowmobiler reported triggering a deep slab in wind loaded terrain on Sunday in the Mt Washington area. No injuries but this highlights concerns of wind loaded terrain at all elevations from below treeline and above.

Snowpack Description:  

Surface- Rain saturated melting surface.

Upper- A variety of new snow layers exist in the upper snowpack depending on elevation and wind effect. These are now rain saturated to varying degrees. Some of these layers are dense and may be poorly bonded in specific locations. 

Mid- Well settled.

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

Weather Forecast:

Wednesday - 12-33mm precipitation. Winds SE to 80kmh.  Freezing level  1900m .  

Thursday-  8-33cm new snow or rain. Winds SE to 48kmh.  Freezing level varying to 1100m .

Friday- 2-7cm new snow. Winds SE to 55kmh. Freezing level 1000m. 

 

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.