It’s going to be a great weekend in Fernie with 15cm overnight and possibly another 20 cms to wake up to on Saturday or Sunday morning. With this new snow Avalanche Canada is warning of the increased avalanche hazard and a generally-weak snowpack. They advise that backcountry travellers avoid alpine terrain in the South Rockies, the Lizard Range and the Flathead.
These regions have an avalanche danger rating of “high” at the alpine, while the risk of avalanches at other elevations is “considerable”. New snow is loading a weak snowpack. It will remain likely for a while that humans can trigger deep persistent slabs. Best to avoid alpine avalanche terrain and travel very cautiously at treeline and below, whilst limiting overhead exposure.
The Southern Rockies Avalanche team reported, “We experienced lots of whumpfing as the weak layer of sugary “facetted” snow from earlier in the winter was failing under our weight today as we ski toured up the ridge above the Nordstrom cutblocks. We saw signs of recent very large slab avalanches in the alpine and treeline, mostly on north and east slopes sliding on what we suspect was this same layer. There’s still not enough snow to make for good skiing or good snowmobiling. The snowpack depth varies, but is generally only around 45cm at 2000m, and it’s very easy to hit stumps and rocks.”
Read the reports here on Avalanche Canada.