16 Jan 2017

January 16, 2017


    A hiker has died in an avalanche in the French Pyrenees, story in article section.          Net Pic

    No local avalanche activity to report, some Na (natural) reported South aspects Sz 1-1.5 --North


    Pre sunrise Sunday January 15, 2017.

    Nice colour at surise which was at 8:05 Hrs.

    Awesome early morning light.

    Julia from Extremely Canadian guiding on Sunday.

    Really, placing coins in the ice cave :(

    Sunday morning.

    Sunday afternoon-- big picture, the low is gaining some momentum!!!

    Ace MacKay Smith rocking the Glacier Creek Deck.

    Even T-Rex was in on the action!!

    End to another amazing day in the mountains.

Weather Observations for January 16, 2017: taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters   -3, Winds were 30-45 KPH S     --Horstman Hut 
2180 meters   -4, Winds were 45-65 KPH S     --Whistler Peak
1860 meters   -1, Winds were 25-30 KPH SSE--Rendevous
1835 meters   -1, Winds were 15-50 KPH SSE--Roundhouse
1650 meters   -1, Trace of new snow, trace in 24 hrs, 177 cm Base, RH 95%  --Pig Alley
1550 meters   -1, Trace of new snow, trace in 24 hrs,   98 cm Base, RH 95%  --Catskinner 
  660 meters   -3, Valley Temp, Max Temp Yesterday was +1.2, 0.0 mm of Precip recorded yest

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


A cold front has finally reached shore with overcast conditions and very light snowfall in a Westerly Flow Aloft. Clouds will thicken through the day with the brunt of the snow fall occuring later in the day and into tonight with the arrival of a warm front. The FL will start at around 1000 meters and slowly rise to around 1300 meters tonight. Tuesday will be warmer with the FL hovering around 1500 meters with periods of heavy snow fall and strong winds in a Southwesterly flow. Wednesday will be similar with a slight rise in the FL (1900 m) :(, with warm wet windy conditions. The FL begins to slowly drop for Thursday into Friday with light steady snow. Bring it on. Still unsure of the amounts due to where the Jet Stream will eventually sit. Directly over us would be the scenario with the most precipitation in the form of an atmospheric river. It may shift South or North for some good dumpage. Guesstimates: 25-40 cm by Tuesday morning, 35-50 cm by Wednesday morning, 30-45 cm for Thursday morning, 15-20 cm by Friday morning. Subject to change daily, but it looks like we are in for a West Coast Storm Cycle!!!

    IR image from this am.

    Monday into Tuesday.


   Upper trough for Thursday into Friday.

    Friday into Saturday could be snowy.


Hiker dies in an avalanche in the Pyrenees: France

La Nina/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Diagnostic Discussion: NOAA

Austria warns of extreme avalanche danger: Highest Level

Learning the backcountry ropes with Mountain Rescue Aspen: Aspen Times


    Cloudy for about 2 hours in the morning.

    Mostly blue for most of the day.

    A few people around Sunday afternoon.

    Wait a few hours and you would never know they were there.

    Oh, there they are!!

    Preping for the Sunday Show!!

15 Jan 2017

January 15, 2017


    Lucky skier after being ejected onto the road, Silverton C0, story below.                        Net Pic

    Locally no new avalanche activity was observed!!


    Saturday January 14, 2017--Clouds moved in the AM.

    Looking at Cayley and Pyroclastic Peak.

    Saturday morning.

    Castle Towers in the centre of frame.

    Great day in the terrain park.

    Awesome groomers on Saturday.

    Very cool sky for most of the day.

    Sunset was officially at 16:37.

Weather Observations for January 15, 2017: taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters   -5, Winds were 20-35 KPH SSW--Horstman Hut 
2180 meters   -6, Winds were 20-35 KPH SSW--Whistler Peak
1860 meters   -3, Winds were 10-15 KPH SE    --Rendevous
1835 meters   -2, Winds were 15-25 KPH SE    --Roundhouse
1650 meters   -2, 0 cm of new snow, 0 cm in 24 hrs, 178 cm Base, RH 65%  --Pig Alley
1550 meters   -2, 0 cm of new snow, 0 cm in 24 hrs,   98 cm Base, RH 52%  --Catskinner 
  660 meters   -6, Valley Temp, Max Temp Yesterday was -3.3, 0.0 mm of Precip recorded yest

    As of 07:00 this am we have scattered cloud and unlimited visibility.


An upper ridge will continue to bring cool dry weather for today with some cloud development in a Northwest Flow Aloft. FL could climb to 1400 m today. A warm front will reach our zone later today with light snow possible by tonight with the freezing level hovering in the 1000 meter range in a Southerly Flow. Several fronts will bring wet, warm, and windy weather to the area Tuesday through Thursday. The FL during that period will fluctuate from 1000-1700 meters. By Thursday an upper trough will develop off the coast with unsettled weather possible for the weekend. Still a chance of a significant atmospheric river, but at this time the jet stream may be just South of our zone, that could change. Guesstimates: Trace -2 cm by Monday am, 15-30+ by Tuesday morning, 25-50+ cm by Wednesday morning, 20-35 cm by Thursday morning.

   Last nice day for a while!! Stormy for the next 3 days. High winds and periods of heavy snow fall.

   Warm front for early Monday morning.

    Looking good for Tuesday except its the warmest day, with the possibility of a lot of precipitation.

   Warming up on Tuesday.

   Wednesday could also produce significnt snow fall depending on the atmospheric river.

   By Thursday morning the jet stream moves back to Northern California and an upper trough moves in.


Avalanche Canada has a warning for back country adventurers: News 1130

Avalanche injures Steamboat Springs Search & Rescue Volunteer during Mission: Colorado

Highway 12 closes due to avalanche threat: Montana

Skier Rescued after triggering an Avalanche: Silverton, CO

Memories of fatal 97 avalanche still fresh: Idaho Press

Famous Swiss Ski Race cancelled because of too much snow: Wengen


January 14 at 8:15am

Looking for something for your teenagers to do on the Pro-D Day this Monday? Our next Extremely Canadian Youth Big Mountain Awareness Camp at Whistler Blackcomb is on Monday, January 16. Designed for youth aged 13-18, the one day course, developed by Mitchell Sulkers and Keith Reid, will serve to enhance awareness of hazards and provide tools to help young skiers and boarders effectively deal with many of the unforeseen challenges of such a large and diverse mountain resort. Cost: $96 CDN plus tax including lunch voucher. Mitchell Sulkers will be teaching this course. http://www.extremelycanadian.com/extremely-canadian--big-mountain-awareness.html

January 14 at 10:26pm

Finally left the north shore and went up Cayoosh via the Armchair on a beautiful bluebird day. After reading reports of wind hammered snow seemingly everywhere on the south coast and howling winds on the hwy around Squamish on the drive up, we were happily surprised to find zero wind-affected snow below 2300m. Stiff spots we did encounter above that were unreactive. Very firm snow in the last 100m to the summit. We bootpacked it for the views but the riding was really not worth it. I recommend an ice axe if you want to summit.

    A teaching moment!!

   Many lenticulars!!

   When it warms up next week these could become a problem if your in the trees.

    Blackcomb Bowl.

14 Jan 2017

January 14, 2017


    No avalanche activity observed in the area yesterday.


    Some colour early Friday morning, January 13, 2017.

    Fissile Mountain.

    Clouds to the South.

    Friday morning.

    Rimed building on Whistler Mountain.

    Old School Skier

    Whistler Creekside.

    Late afternoon light.

Weather Observations for January 14, 2017: taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters   -6, Winds were 25-30 KPH S      --Horstman Hut 
2180 meters   -5, Winds were 25-35 KPH SSW--Whistler Peak
1860 meters   -4, Winds were 15-25 KPH SE    --Rendevous
1835 meters   -2, Winds were 15-25 KPH SW   --Roundhouse
1650 meters   -5, 0 cm of new snow, 0 cm in 24 hrs, 182 cm Base, RH 54%  --Pig Alley
1550 meters   -4, 0 cm of new snow, 0 cm in 24 hrs,   99 cm Base, RH 30%  --Catskinner 
  660 meters -15, Valley Temp, Max Temp Yesterday was -7.6, 0.0 mm of Precip recorded yest

    As of 07:00 Hrs we have high scattered cloud, unlimited visibility with an inversion.


A mix of sun and cloud today as a weakening upper ridge maintains dry cold weather in a light Southwesterly flow. Sunday will also be unsettled with more cloud arriving Sunday evening as a front moves onshore for Monday. A series of wet warm and windy fronts will bring snow to the upper elevations through Thursday with a strong zonal jet stream. There is still a good chance for an atmospheric river event to hit the coast.  The Freezing level will fluctuate over the next few days hovering around the 1200 meter range. A warmer impulse of moisture arrives from the Southern Latitudes Tuesday with a spike in the FL as high as 1800 meters. More on that as we get closer. After Tuesday the FL begins to slowly drop to round 1000 meters by Thursday. Guesstimates: 20-30 cm by Tuesday am, 25-40 cm by Wednesday morning, 20-35 cm by Thursday morning. These numbers will likely be adjusted as we get closer. Looks like we will get a proper reset in the alpine by next weekend.

    High pressure with some cloud for today into Sunday.

    High again for Sunday with some cloud.

    Frontal band arriving for Monday.

   Active front for Tuesday.


Making sense of the Jan 11, viral avalanche video: Mountain Skills Academy

January 11 avalanche: How it could have been avoided: Snowboard Canada

Silverton-area skier rescued after being buried by an avalanche on US 550: Coal Bank Pass

Myths about who dies and where: Skier Fatalities


    Still lots of areas with wind affected snow!

    Looking Southwest from Whistler.

    New addition on top of Whistler Mountain.

    Still lots of the winter's snow on the Olympic Rings.