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North Rockies Avalanche Forecast - April 1, 2021

Flurries and strong wind feed fresh wind slab development at upper elevations, while sustained above-freezing temperatures make for moist snow below treeline on Thursday.
North Rockies Avalanche

Flurries and strong wind feed fresh wind slab development at upper elevations, while sustained above-freezing temperatures make for moist snow below treeline on Thursday. Afterwards, easing winds and overnight refreeze will reduce avalanche hazard for the end of the week.

Thursday

Alpine - Moderate
Treeline - Moderate
Below treeline - Moderate

Friday

Alpine - Moderate
Treeline - Low
Below treeline - Low

Saturday

Alpine - Moderate
Treeline - Low
Below treeline - Low

Avalanche Summary

Evidence of large storm slab avalanches (size 3) was observed Monday and Tuesday between Sentinel Pass and Chetwynd, likely having released during the storm on the weekend.

On Sunday we received second-hand information about a size 2-2.5 (estimated) rider-triggered avalanche in the Hasler area.

Last Thursday, there were numerous reports of size 2-2.5 explosive triggered avalanches in the Table River Valley.

Snowpack Summary

10-40 cm of recent snow has been redistributed by strong southwest to northwest wind, likely resulting in variable wind loading patterns, with wind slabs possible on many aspects and large, fragile cornices along ridgetops. This snow sits on melt freeze crusts at lower elevations and on solar aspects. Otherwise it adds to 30 to 50+ cm of settling dry snow from last week.

A weak layer of facets buried in mid-February may now be found around 120 to 150 cm deep, or shallower in the east of the region and in thin snowpack areas. The most likely place to trigger this layer is where the snowpack is shallow in alpine terrain. Large loads, such a cornice falls or multiple sleds on the same slope often trigger slopes that a single rider couldn't trigger on their own.

Weather Forecast

THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy with flurries up to 10 cm. Strong southwest wind. Freezing level 1200 m. Alpine temperature -10.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy. Light to moderate southwest wind. Freezing level dips to valley bottom overnight, up to 1200 m during the day. Alpine temperature -7.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Light to moderate southwest wind. Freezing level dips to valley bottom overnight, up to 1400 m during the day. Alpine temperature -7.

Travel and Terrain Advice

  • Be careful with wind slabs, especially in steep, unsupported and/or convex terrain features.
  • Be aware of highly variable recent wind loading patterns.
  • In areas where deep persistent slabs may exist, avoid shallow or variable depth snowpacks and unsupported terrain features.