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Current Bulletin

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Friday, 17 April, 2015

April 17, 2015 at 10:23AM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Sunday, 19 April, 2015 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 Not Applicable Not Applicable Not Applicable

Confidence: Fair. 

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wind Slab- Some wind slab will persist during this warming period although rapid settlement can be expected in many locations. The remaining slabs will be at higher elevations in shaded lee or cross loaded wind affected areas. At higher elevations in specific locations these could create avalanches large enough to bury or injure a person.

 Wet Loose- During this warming period wet loose avalanches will be occurring in many locations. The recent accumulations of new snow up to 50cm will now be rapidly warming on all aspects and particularly solar aspects during the day. This hazard will increase rapidly with mid day and afternoon warming. Cornices may release with warming and propagate larger surface releases. 

Travel/Terrain Advice: Be wary of wind slab at higher elevations that has not settled in warming temperatures. Look for signs of wet loose conditions like snowballing/pinwheels, surface releases and cornice failure. Plan routes to avoid terrain traps that can increase the risk with small surface releases(cliffs). Plan the time of day to be on solar aspects as rapid daytime warming will rapidly increase risk. Avoid exposure to cornices during rapid and continued warming.

Past Weather- Only a trace to 8 cm new snow has occurred since Tuesday. The 8cm is likely in the most westerly mountains and perhaps north. Slowly warming temperatures are now rapidly warming.

 Avalanche Summary: At least one size 1 wind slab was released during ski activity this week. It was on a skin track in Mt Cains north bowl. This is a wind affected and lee slope with down slope winds. This instability may linger in cold high places a little longer.

Snowpack  Description: The old snow from March has not shown weakness. The mid to upper snowpack has mostly developed in the last two weaks and consists of layering from a variety of wind, snow and warming events. Warm temperatures will now rapidly settle the snowpack and transition to melt freeze and isothermic conditions. 

Weather Forecast:

Friday - Cloudy with breaks. Strong to moderate Northwest winds. Trace of precipitation. Freezing level 1700m rising by end of day.

Saturday- Increasing sun. Light to moderate Northwest winds. No precipitation. Freezing level 2700m (very warm). 

Sunday- Mostly sunny. Light Northwest winds. No precipitation. Freezing level 2800-3000m (very warm).

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

Wednesday, 15 April, 2015

April 15, 2015 at 01:10PM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Thursday, 16 April, 2015 6pm.

DANGER RATINGS (Make sure you understand the danger level meanings)
 
Outlook Wednesday Thursday Friday 
Alpine MODERATE CONSIDERABLE CONSIDERABLE
Treeline MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE
Below Tree line Not Applicable Not Applicable Not Applicable

Confidence: Fair. 

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wind Slab- The Monday into Tuesday snow event was with strong Southeast and Southwest winds which has built deep wind slabs on lee slopes and cross loaded features. These slabs have weakness in the layering including buried surface facets in the last weeks snow and near the bottom of the last two weeks snow there is near crust faceting 50cm down in places. These slabs could produce large avalanches in isolated areas.

 Wet Loose- Warming temperatures Thursday and rain will start to create conditions for loose surface avalanches. These could be large in gullies and at higher elevations. Friday will see freezing levels rise to mountain tops with rain.

Travel/Terrain Advice: Continue to respect deep accumulations on steep terrain, some of the weakness is deep, up to 70cm down on lees and will require diligent snow evaluation to understand strength. Warming temperatures will settle solar aspects but some of these had deep buried facets which can take time to round. Rain at higher elevations may start to flush out gullies and warm rock faces Thursday and Friday.

Past Weather- Mondays precipitation fell as snow as low as 600m and was as much as 30cm in the north and west areas. Strong southeast winds during most of the snow, then it finished up Southwest Tuesday morning.

 Avalanche Summary: No new avalanche activity has been observed.

Snowpack  Description: The old snow from March has not shown weakness. The mid to upper snowpack has mostly developed in the last two weaks and consists of complex layering from a variety of wind, snow and warming events. The storm snow had faceted surfaces buried and some lee accumulations had a near crust facet layer 50cm deep that showed weakness.

Weather Forecast:

Wednesday - Cloudy. Moderate southerly winds. trace to 6mm precipitation. Freezing level 1200-1500m

Thursday- Cloudy. Strong Southwest winds. Trace to 16mm precipitation. Freezing level 1600-2000m.

Friday- Cloudy maybe some breaks. Moderate to strong Southwest winds. Up to 10mm rain. Freezing level 1800-2000m

Avalanche Forecaster- Lyle Fast

Monday, 13 April, 2015

April 13, 2015 at 11:47AM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Tuesday, 14 April, 2015 6pm.

DANGER RATINGS (Make sure you understand the danger level meanings)
 
Outlook Monday Tuesday Wednesday 
Alpine CONSIDERABLE MODERATE MODERATE
Treeline MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE
Below Tree line Not Applicable Not Applicable Not Applicable

Confidence: Fair. 

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wind Slab- New snow of up to 25cm Monday combined with high winds from the South east will further develop wind slabs on lee slopes and cross loaded areas. These slabs could produce large avalanches in specific areas.

 

Travel/Terrain Advice:  The return of winter conditions has created instabilities in many areas requiring careful snowpack evaluation to determine layering and strenghts. Cautious route finding will be required to avoid areas of wind slab. Take the time to carefully examine specific snowpack conditions in your locality.

Past Weather- Freezing levels hovered around 1300- 1400m with a brief rise to 1800m in some locations. Strong winds from the south combined with over 50cm snow in some locations.

 Avalanche Summary: No new avalanche activity has been observed.

Snowpack  Description: The old snow from March has not shown weakness. The mid to upper snowpack has mostly developed in the last two weaks and consists of complex layering from a variety of wind, snow and warming events. The next few days will continue this development and particularly wind slab development on lees to South east winds. 

Weather Forecast:

Monday - Cloudy. Gale force SE winds. 14-25cm snow. Freezing level 1000-1200m

Tuesday- Cloudy chance of breaks. Moderate Westerly winds. 1-7cm snow. Freezing level 1000-1300m.

Wednesday- Cloudy. Moderate Southerly winds. Up to 11cm snow. Freezing level 1400-1600m

Avalanche 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.