North Rockies Avalanche Forecast - January 26, 2021

You'll want to pack your warm socks with the cold air temperature forecast! Keep practicing safe travel techniques; the most likely place to get the snow to move is in very steep and complex terrain.

Tuesday

Alpine - Low
Treeline - Low

Below treeline - Low

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Wednesday

Alpine - Low

Treeline - Low
Below treeline - Low

Thursday

Alpine - Low
Treeline - Low

Below treeline - Low

Avalanche Summary

No new avalanches were observed over the weekend. One large avalanche was observed in the alpine on Friday, which was likely triggered by a cornice fall; check it out here.

Going forward, avalanche activity is expected to be minimal with only small amounts of new snow, light wind, and cold air temperature. The most likely spot to get the snow to move would be immediately adjacent to ridges in steep terrain in the high alpine, though I'd expect resulting avalanches to be small. Cornices could also be triggered by humans that get too close to the edge.

Snowpack Summary

Around 10 to 20 cm of soft, faceted snow may be found across the region. Light wind has prevailed, so any new wind slab formation is expected to be localized to immediate lee features near ridges and resulting slabs are expected to be small. Cornices remain large, so use caution when on or beneath ridges.

Underneath the soft snow you are likely to find a hard melt-freeze crust that can be found up to about 1600 m and otherwise widespread wind effect. You may find a spotty weak layer of surface hoar between 10 and 50 cm deep in sheltered terrain at and below treeline, but this layer has not produced any avalanches to date.

The early-December weak layer may be found 60 to 130 cm deep and is currently dormant.

Weather Forecast

TUESDAY - Cloudy with light snowfall, accumulation trace to 3 cm, 10 to 20 km/h south wind, alpine temperature -14 C.

WEDNESDAY - Cloudy with light snowfall, accumulation trace to 3 cm, 20 km/h east wind, alpine temperature -22 C.

THURSDAY - Mix of sun and cloud, 20 km/h west wind, alpine temperature -15 C.

Travel and Terrain Advice

  • Carefully evaluate steep lines for wind slabs.
     
  • Pay attention to cornices and give them a wide berth when traveling on or below ridges.

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A map of the North Rockies. - Avalanche Canada image
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