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North Rockies Avalanche Forecast — November 25, 2021

More snow is on the way! Watch for dangerous conditions at higher elevations where heavy snowfall accumulations are expected. Stick to low angle terrain on Thursday.
avalanche-forecast

More snow is on the way! Watch for dangerous conditions at higher elevations where heavy snowfall accumulations are expected. Stick to low angle terrain on Thursday.

Thursday

Alpine - Considerable
Treeline - Considerable
Below treeline - Low

Friday

Alpine - Considerable
Treeline - Moderate
Below treeline - Low

Saturday

Alpine - Considerable
Treeline - Moderate
Below treeline - Low

Avalanche Summary

Over the past week there have been several reports of unstable storm slabs. While these instabilities have likely settled, the incoming weather will produce new storm and wind slab problems.

There have been no reports of avalanches on persistent weak layers this season, although reports are limited, and we strongly encourage people to share observations on the Mountain Information Network.

Snowpack Summary

A frontal system will bring 10-35 cm of new snow to the region by Thursday evening. The heaviest accumulations will likely be around Pine Pass, the McGregor range, and around McBride. Rising freezing levels will result in rain at lower elevations and heavy snow at upper elevations. The eastern side of the Rockies will receive less snow, but strong wind will likely form wind slabs in steep leeward terrain.

Recent observations suggest treeline snow depths are around 80-140 cm with very little snow below 1400-1600 m. A series of storms over the past few weeks delivered about 40-80 cm of snow, which sits above an early season crust(s). Reports indicate the snow has generally bonded well to the early season crusts. Exceptions may be shallow alpine slopes along the eastern side of the Rockies towards Jasper.

Weather Forecast

THURSDAY - Snow continues with another 5-15 cm throughout the day, strong southwest wind with gusts to 100 km/h, freezing level reaches 1500 m.

FRIDAY - Unsettled weather between storms with flurries bringing roughly 5 cm of snow, strong southwest wind with gusts to 60 km/h, freezing level drops to valley bottom with treeline temperatures around -5 C.

SATURDAY - The next front approaches with 5-10 cm of snow possible by the evening, strong southwest wind, and freezing level climbing to 1500 m.

Travel and Terrain Advice

  • Dial back your terrain choices if you are seeing more than 20 cm of new snow.
  • Avoid freshly wind loaded terrain features.
  • Watch for signs of instability like whumpfing, hollow sounds, shooting cracks or recent avalanches.
  • Remember that the snowpack will be significantly different at higher elevations than lower down.
 

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A map of the North Rockies. - Avalanche Canada image