21 Mar 2018

March 21, 2018


    Avalanche control in Hatcher Pass, Alaska. Article below.                                                   Net Pic

    Locally, no new avalanches observed yesterday.


    Overcast early Tuesday morning.

    Lots of low level cloud in the morning, first day of Spring.

    There were some breaks Tuesday morning.

    Eventually the low cloud layer did lift.

    Challenging visibility at times.

    17:30Hrs on Tuesday evening, -3 Deg C at 1835 Meters.

    Tuesday afternoon.

    Big picture on Tuesday.

Weather Observations for March 21, 2018  taken at 06:00 Hours.

2180 meters     -8, Winds were 25-30 KPH SE  --Whistler Peak
1835 meters     -5, Winds were 15-20 KPH ESE--Roundhouse
1660 meters     -6, 0 cm of new, 0 cm in 24 hrs  Base 288 cm --Pig Alley
  660 meters     -2, Valley Temp, Max Temp Yesterday was +6.4, 0.0 mm of precip recorded yest

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


Unsettled this am but eventually it will be overcast today with a moist southwest flow aloft. Flurries can be expected later in the day but the brunt of the precipitation will arrive tonight/early Thursday. The freezing level will likely go up to 1500 meters with daytime heating. A warm front, followed by a cold front should bring more precipitation for Thursday, with the FL starting at around 1800 meters dropping to surface by Thursday night. Broad cool upper level low will bring more precipitation for Friday with the FL remaining at surface. An upper trough will bring unsettled conditions by Saturday afternoon into Sunday in a Northwest flow aloft. The FL will rise during the day with daytime warming but is expected to hover in the 800 meter range.
Guesstimates: 4-8 cm by Thursday morning, 15-25 cm by Friday morning, 10-15 cm by Saturday morning, 0 m by Sunday morning.

    GOES IR image from this am.

    Slightly cooler, low from the South will creep up the coast.

    May see some flurries this am.

    Lots going on.

    Fronts along the coast.

    Warm front followed by a cold front.

    Snow to the valley.


    Low level cloud in the morning did rise as the day progressed.

    Firm conditions in the alpine.

    Not often in March it is low.

    Great breaks Tuesday morning.

    Solar Coaster.

    Man made snow in the trees.

    Catskinner has a base of 219 cm as of 14:30 Hrs on Tuesday.

From South Coast Touring:

Manouane Deschenes
March 20 at 9:51am
My opinion of the Spearhead traverse is that it is very crusty and icy in spots. I did not find any good fluffy snow (well while going downhill...;)) until Whirlwind. Not sure where others found fluffy snow. However this is interesting, in my 4 years of doing the traverse it's the first time I see people put tracks on Macbeth and on Fitzsimmons. It's would be very careful before committing to steep slopes that may have very crusty conditions. Found that the Guides's notch to Naden gl.was pretty thinly covered. We bootpacked it.


Soldiers injured in Vermont avalanche released from Hospital: Army Mountain Warfare School

If you get caught in an avalanche, this is who might save you: Avy Dogs

Park Rangers respond to Avalanche Accident: Jackson Hole

DOT crews using explosives to reduce avalanche risk in Hatcher Pass: Alaska

20 Mar 2018

March 20, 2018


    An avalanche has killed a ski tourer on Chamechaude Peak in France. Story below.       Net Pic

    4 Skiers presumed dead as rescuers continue with rescue efforts. Switzerland. AFP Photo

    Locally, no new avalanches observed.


    Early Monday morning, unsettled weather became overcast by the afternoon.

    Some clearing to the North on Monday.

    Bands of cloud for most of the day.

    17:30 Hours Monday evening.

    Monday afternoon.

    Big picture Monday afternoon.

Weather Observations for March 20, 2018  taken at 06:00 Hours.

2180 meters     -8, Winds were 15-25 KPH SW--Whistler Peak
1835 meters     -5, Winds were 10-20 KPH SW --Roundhouse
1660 meters     -3, 0 cm of new, 0 cm in 24 hrs  Base 289 cm --Pig Alley
  660 meters    +3, Valley Temp, Max Temp Yesterday was +6.3, 0.0 mm of precip recorded yest

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


A weak cold front in a Northwesterly flow aloft will reach the coast later this afternoon. Overcast conditions for today with very light snowfall starting later in the day. The freezing level will likely reach 1400 meters by noon with daytime heating. A deep upper low out of the Northwest will push a trough through on Wednesday into Thursday. The FL will remain in the 1500 meter range for Wednesday and drop to almost surface as the trough out of the Bering Sea with its colder airmass gets closer on Thursday into Friday. Depending on the track we could get a significant amount of snow for Thursday into Friday. (20-40 cm possible over the 2 days). More on that as we get closer.
Guesstimates: 2-4 cm by Wednesday morning, 5-10 cm by Thursday morning, 15-25 cm by Friday morning, 10-15 cm by Saturday morning.

    GOES IR image from this am.

    Not much going on today except for clouds.

    Overcast with some flurries later in the day.

    Cold front approaches our zone later in the day.

    Fronts along the Coast.

    Stalled cold front moves through Wednesday.

    Not much snow until Wednesday night.


    Cornice debris in most bowls.

    Cool rock below Hanging Roll.

    Limited visibility in the alpine Monday afternoon.

    Winter snowpack.

    Lots of warning signs out on Monday.

    Band of cloud through our zone yesterday at 17:30 Hrs.

Recent Avalanche Canada MIN Report:

Matier Glacier

From South Coast Touring:

Isabel Budke
March 19 at 9:04pm
Superb conditions on Spearhead yesterday--it doesn't get any better! Moderate avi conditions, deep winter pack, fast and fluffy snow, (mostly) clear sunny skies, but air temps stayed cool. Thus my decision to go all the way around after touring to Trorey--Decker col with friends. I only passed 3 parties on the 35km--felt remote like 20 years ago--incredible! Overlord rock step is a non-issue (can side-slip down on soft snow, just a couple of metres). Step down to Naden Glacier easy boot pack (axe is handy) and Ripsaw crevasse well filled in. Singing Pass trail in awesome fast shape--some big roller coaster moguls but everything well filled in, including all bridge crossings. Made decent time (7:55 hours), Blackcomb Glacier to Whistler Village. I counted 18 unavoidable transitions, so that really cuts into travel time...So grateful for being able to experience this amazing, majestic landscape!


A ski tourer has been killed, one injured in an avalanche in the Chartreuse Mts: France

4 skiers presumed dead in Swiss Avalanche, rescue efforts continue: Vallon d'Arbi

Snow blocks Road to Hatcher Pass; 10 stranded at lodge: Alaska

Number of Swiss Mountain deaths falls by 8 pct in 2017: Geneva

Number of avalanches in Norway quadrupled in one year: Norway Today

19 Mar 2018

March 19, 2018


    An avalanche in France has killed one person and injured another:  Story in articles below. Net Pic

    Old Sa or Sc Rt side of Poo Basin.

    Locally, Sz 2 Sc in the Duffey, Sz 1-1.5 Sa in the Whistler backcountry.


    Blue Bird Saturday morning, snowmaking on the Horstman Glacier.

    Four guns producing snow on the Horstman Glacier.

    Cloud development as the day progressed.

    Just before noon.

    Cumulus cloud formation.

    Cloudier in the afternoon.

    Some colour at sunset which was at 19:20 Hrs.

    Sunday Afternoon.

    Big picture Sunday Afternoon.

Weather Observations for March 19, 2018  taken at 06:00 Hours.

2180 meters     -8, Winds were 10-15 KPH WNW--Whistler Peak
1835 meters     -5, Winds were   5-10 KPH NNW --Roundhouse
1660 meters     -4, 0 cm of new, 0 cm in 24 hrs  Base 290 cm --Pig Alley
  660 meters    +1, Valley Temp, Max Temp Yesterday was +10.2, 0.0 mm of precip recorded yest

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


Unsettled today as the upper level trough begins to move away in a Northeast flow loft. A mix of sun and cloud today with the possibility of some intermittent snow flurries later today. The freezing level could go as high as 1500 meters. A weak front will bring cloudy skies for tomorrow with periods of very light snowfall. Several frontal bands will bring overcast conditions with snow into Friday.
Guesstimates: trace-1 cm by Tuesday morning, 2-4 cm by Wednesday morning, 8-12 cm by Thursday morning, 10-20 cm by Friday morning.

    GOES IR image from this am.

    Unsettled today with mostly cloudy skies.


    Possible flurries.

    Fronts along the coast.

    Cloudier tomorrow.

    Flurries with a cold front moving down the coast.


    Air time off the moraine, Jr Freeride Comp.

    Surface Hoar Development.

    Low Hazard Rating Yesterday.

    Old Skier Accidental (Sa) in Blackcomb Glacier.

    Ski cut or skier accidental ? beside Poo Basin off Phalanx Ridge.


One person dead and one injured in an avalanche: France

Avalanche Hazard cuts off access to villages: Kashmir

Snowmobiler rides out Montana avalanche after deploying airbag: Hebgen Lake

Alpine assassins rider Luke Rohde dies in an avalanche at Mount Baker: Mountain Sledder