19 Feb 2017

February 19, 2017


    An avalanche in Italy has claimed 3 ski mountaineers, story in article section.                Net Pic

    An avalanche has killed 6 workers at the Lowari Tunnel construction site, story below.    Net Pic

    Locally, no new avalanches observed. Watch out in the bowls on WB for cornice debris.


    Overcast early Saturday morning, February 18, 2017.

    That's a lot of snow!!

    Some nice light in the morning.

    Racing on Lower Franz's Run

    Saturday morning.


Weather Observations for February 19, 2017: taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters      -8, Winds were 30-50 KPH SE  --Horstman Hut 
2180 meters      -7, Winds were 30-40 KPH SE  --Whistler Peak
1860 meters      -6, Winds were 10-30 KPH ESE--Rendevous
1835 meters      -5, Winds were 15-25 KPH ESE--Roundhouse
1650 meters      -4, 3 cm of new snow, 4 cm in 24 hrs, 250 cm Base, RH 88%  --Pig Alley
1550 meters      -4, 3 cm of new snow, 4 cm in 24 hrs, 181 cm Base, RH 95%  --Catskinner 
  660 meters       0, Valley Temp, Max Temp Yesterday was +4.8, 0.9 mm of Precip recorded yest

    As of 07:00 Hrs this am we have overcast skies, variable visibility and it is snowing lightly.


A weak frontal band will bring overcast conditions and light/moderate snow fall to the area today in a Southwest flow aloft. The FL will likely spike at around 1000 meters this afternoon and then drop back to about 800 meters tonight. The low coming out of the South will weaken on Monday with overcast conditions and some intermittent snow flurries during the day. The FL on Monday could spike at 1200 meters.  Another low will influence the area on Tuesday morning with mostly overcast conditions and some snow flurries. A Northwest flow aloft, and an associated upper trough will bring cool unsettled weather to the area on Wednesday into next weekend. During this period there will be moments of weak ridging and we could occasionally see the sun. At this time Thursday is looking like the brightest day.
Guesstimates: 10-15 cm by Monday morning, trace -1 cm by Tuesday morning, 2-4 cm by Wednesday morning.

    GOES IR this am.

   Steady light snow for today, moderate snowfall possible tonight.

    Moisture moving up from the South.

    Cloudy but drier on Monday.

    Cloudy with flurries for Tuesday.

    Unsettled for Wednesday.


                      Steep Creek Area                                                           Jeff Van Driel Image

Busy day up at Steep Creek yesterday with -4, light sporadic snow and light variable winds. 
20cm of coastal powder sits on the crust from the latest storm above 1900m. Good skiing down to 1800m where the crust now mostly supports the weight of a skier down to 1200m. We had limited alpine observations, but there appeared to be little wind effect. 
We dug a test pit on a north aspect at 1990m with a snowpack depth of 300cm. No test results from within the storm snow. We found the February 3 surface hoar down 97cm and the January 16 surface hoar down 150cm which both produced hard sudden planar test results.
Evidence of a storm cycle to size 2.5, otherwise no new avalanches observed. 
Cornices have grown significantly and could be the large trigger to initiate the surface hoar layers. 

Cheers Jeff

    Upper cloud layer was fairly thin.

    Creekside Graffiti


Avalanche kills three mountaineers near Mount Chaberton: Italy

Six die in an avalanche at the Lowari Tunnel construction site: Pakistan

One killed, two injured as Avalanche hits village in Chitral: Pakistan

Celebrating Backing Down: Backcountry Skiing Canada

Against a snowy death: Predicting avalanches with self-driving car technology: The Mercury News

18 Feb 2017

February 18, 2017


    An avalanche in Kazahkstan has claimed 7 soldiers. Story in article section.                Net Pic

    Old avalanche debris on Prime Rib, Horstman Glacier. Natural cycle during the storm.
    Avalanche control yesterday produced some Sz 1-2 storm slabs with Xe.


    Whistler early morning, Friday February 17, 2017.

    Multiple cloud layer in the morning.

    Old avalanche debris just before the Goat Path.

    Whistler just before getting tracked out. Some decent snow in the upper elevations.

    Visibility was challenging at times yesterday,

    Cloudier later in the day.

Weather Observations for February 18, 2017: taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters      -7, Winds were 20-30 KPH SE--Horstman Hut 
2180 meters      -6, Winds were 15-20 KPH SE--Whistler Peak
1860 meters      -6, Winds were     0-5 KPH S   --Rendevous
1835 meters      -5, Winds were   5-15 KPH NE--Roundhouse
1650 meters      -5, 0 cm of new snow, 0 cm in 24 hrs, 249 cm Base, RH 95%  --Pig Alley
1550 meters      -3, 0 cm of new snow, 2 cm in 24 hrs, 178 cm Base, RH 82%  --Catskinner 
  660 meters     +2, Valley Temp, Max Temp Yesterday was +6.4, 7.2 mm of Precip recorded yest

    As of 07:00 Hrs this am we have overcast skies, unlimited visibility, and snowing very lightly.


A weak upper through will bring overcast skies today with some periods of light snow in a Southwest flow aloft. A weak low to our South will slowly push into the area with the FL spiking at around 1000 meters dropping to surface this evening. A series of weak frontal bands will bring snow to the area Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.  The FL will fluctuate each day with day time warming and dropping to the valley in the evenings. The warmest day will be Monday with a high of 1400 meters.  A weak ridge will bring unsettled weather for Wednesday with a cool dry Northwest flow into Thursday.
Guesstimates:  2-4 cm by Sunday morning, 5-10 cm by Monday morning, 5-10 cm by Tuesday morning, 5-10 cm by Wednesday morning.

    Most of the moisture is South of our zone.

    Low from the South slowly pushes North.

    Another low sends frontal bands our way Sunday.

   Low shifts South on Monday/ Tuesday.


Lee Lau at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park.
Million Dollar Couloir in Cayoosh had cold quadruple blow cold smoke. Glacier must have kept things cold. Perfect for Herschel backpacks and goretex sombreros.
FL was to 1800m in recent storm event. 5 to 8cms overlaying storm layer that varied from firm above 1800m to breakable below.

    Dry snow above 1800 meters.

    Nice light Friday morning.

    Garbanzo Chair

    Low level cloud in the valley.


Seven soldiers killed in an avalanche during military training exercise: Kazahkstan

Sharing Snow: Pique

Avalanche warnings issued for Mountain Parks: CTV News

The Spirit of Freeskiing: Powder Canada

Ski Patroller logs more than 50 years at Red Lodge Mountain: Montana

Pro Snowboarders new avalanche safety system wins innovation award: GrindTV

17 Feb 2017

February 17, 2017


   An avalanche has killed a Swedish Skier in Austria, story in article section.                  Net Pic

    Evidence in Blackcomb Bowl of a natural cycle, during the storm up to Sz 2.
    Avalanche control yesterday - Xe Xl ssl Sz 1 in alpine terrain.


    Fresh snow early Thursday February 16, 2017. Stuck on!!

    7 Th Heaven, avalanche closure, Thursday

    Lower mountain cloud layer.

    Thursday morning

    Just before noon Thursday

    Unsettled in the afternoon.

    Patches of Blue.

    By days end it was unsettled.

Weather Observations for February 17, 2017: taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters      -8, Winds were 20-30 KPH SE--Horstman Hut 
2180 meters      -6, Winds were 20-30 KPH SE--Whistler Peak
1860 meters      -5, Winds were 10-15 KPH SE--Rendevous
1835 meters      -4, Winds were 15-20 KPH SE--Roundhouse
1650 meters      -3, 1 cm of new snow,  2 cm in 24 hrs, 254 cm Base, RH 88%  --Pig Alley
1550 meters      -3, Trace of new snow, 2 cm in 24 hrs, 180 cm Base, RH 90%  --Catskinner 
  660 meters     +2, Valley Temp, Max Temp Yesterday was +6.4, 7.2 mm of Precip recorded yest

    As of 07:00 hrs this am we have broken cloud and variable visibility. Upper layer and valley cloud.


A weak high pressure will bring unsettled conditions today in a Southwest flow aloft. The FL today will hover in the 1000 meter range, dropping below surface this evening. A broad upper trough will send some moisture to the North but we will likely just see some cloud development for Saturday with the chance of some very light intermittent snow flurries. The FL will rise to about 900 meters on Saturday dropping back to surface in the evening. Sunday a low from the Northwest will push into the area with overcast skies and light snowfall. The FL will rise to about 1000 meters Sunday afternoon and dropping back to surface in the evening. As of now Monday will see another weak frontal band push through with steady light snow. This pattern will continue into the middle of next week.
Guesstimates: trace-1 cm by Sunday morning, 2-4 cm by Sunday morning, 4-6 cm by Monday morning, 4-6 cm by Tuesday morning.

    GOES IR image from this am.

   Unsettled today.

    Looks like we will see some sun today.

   Mostly cloudy Saturday.

   On the edge Saturday.

   Overcast with light snow for Sunday.

    Monday into Tuesday looks decent with light snow on both days.


    Nice light late in the day.

    Flurries in the afternoon.

    Melt freeze.

    Thursday afternoon.

    Sweep time.


Going for a ride: Avalanche Nerdaz

Backcountry Responsibility Objective: Trent Meisenheimer

Know Before You Go: KGYG

Low Angle Slab Avalanche: Rose Knob Peak, NV

Two Bear Rescue long lining avalanche victim: McCall, Idaho

Sledder getting buried: Taylor Fork--Feb 12-17


Swedish skier dies after avalanche in Tyrol: Austria

Avalanche risk shuts Trans-Canada East of Golden, B.C.: CBC News

Avalanche Canada findings on deadly BcBride avalanche at upcoming seminars: CBC News

Less snow and a short ski season in the alps: PhysOrg

Italy avalanche search ends with 29 Dead, 11 rescued: Hotel Rigopiano

Deadly Avalanche was 880 Feet: Snow Bike avalanche update

Winter Wayfinders: Powder Canada