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North Rockies Avalanche Forecast - April 13, 2021

Watch for reactivity in wind-affected snow this week as incremental snowfall continues to accumulate.
North Rockies Avalanche

A prolonged warming trend will increase the likelihood of avalanche activity. Danger rating is for peak daytime warming. Check out this blog for further information on the influence of warming and how to manage it.

Tuesday

Alpine - Considerable
Treeline - Considerable
Below treeline - Considerable

Wednesday

Alpine - Considerable
Treeline - Considerable 
Below treeline - Considerable

Thursday

Alpine - Considerable
Treeline - Considerable
Below treeline - Considerable

Avalanche Summary

A few small to large loose wet and wind slab avalanches were observed in the region on Sunday on sun-exposed slopes. A few large avalanches were also observed on north aspects out of alpine terrain in the south of the region.

Looking forward, avalanche activity is expected to spike during periods of daytime warming and quiet down as the night cools the region.

Snowpack Summary

Warm air and sunny skies are moistening the snow surface, at least up to around 1900 m and to the mountain tops on sun-exposed slopes during daytime warming, with a hard crust expected overnight and early-morning. On north aspects above 1900 m, 20 to 40 cm of recent dry snow likely prevails, which may have old wind slabs. Cornices are very large along many ridgelines.

The warming trend has the potential of reactivating deeper weak layers, including a layer from mid-February as well as basal layers in shallow, rocky terrain along the eastern slopes of the Rockies.

Weather Forecast

TUESDAY: Clear skies, 10 to 20 km/h southwest wind, alpine temperature -1 C, freezing level rising to 1900 m.

WEDNESDAY: Clear skies, 10 km/h northwest wind, alpine temperature 3 C, freezing level near valley-bottom in the morning and rising to 2700 m.

THURSDAY: Clear skies, 20 km/h east wind, alpine temperature 5 C, freezing level 3000 m.

Travel and Terrain Advice

  • Back off slopes as the surface becomes moist or wet with rising temperatures.
  • Pay attention to cornices and give them a wide berth when traveling on or below ridges.
  • The likelihood of deep persistent slab avalanches will increase with each day of warm weather.
  • The more the snowpack warms-up and weakens, the more conservative you`ll want to be with your terrain selection.