7 Mar 2012

One of numerous slides in the Sea to Sky Corridor yesterday, this one on the South side of Spearhead Peak.
Skiers right track cut out the slide and went for about a 100 meter ride before exiting.  Jamie May Photo


As of 06:00 hours at 2280 meter the temperature was -8, winds were 15-30 KPH from the SW. At 1550 meters the temperature was -11, 86 % relative humidity and the barometer is rising. In the valley it is -9. No new snow last night.  Yesterday produced numerous size 2-3 avalanches,  naturals and skier released.

For the latest Avalanche Advisory click here: Avalanche Advisory

Unfortunately there has been an avalanche fatality above Grizzly Lake, on a steep east facing slope of Powder Mountain.  The slide occurred yesterday afternoon when 2 snowmobiles were high marking on the slope, one sled was buried with its driver and the other managed to get out of the slide.  The size 3 avalanche ran about 100 meters.  The crown was  30cm to 1.5 meters deep and approximately 350 meters wide. The deceased was buried between 40-60 cm deep his snow mobile a few meters deep.   The RCMP, Whistler SAR, Whistler Patrol,  Blackcomb Patrol and other sledders responded to the incident.


Brad Sills Photo

On the international front news of large avalanches in Pakistan: Large Avalanches


Wayne.

A few photos from today. One skier accidental and two naturals. Did not see the party in the accidental, but the start zone was on a sharp convexity with numerous rock weaknesses that had been reverse-loaded in last night’s shift to northerly winds. Noticed a few more of these south-facing skier accidentals just south of the DOA avy boundary this afternoon. All had convexity's and shallow rock weaknesses that had been reverse-loaded.

Cheers,

Mitchell






Skier Accidental in the Cake Hole from yesterday: Photo Below



From Dave Sarkany  Rutherford region Photos below:
The common theme in most of these slides was N asp at treeline 1400-1700m.
There where some higher S aspect slides, new snow overloading an old crust probably. 


6 Mar 2012

Today will be one of those days you wish you had one of these at your disposal!!!


At 2280 meter the temperature as of 06:00 was - 18.5. Winds were 35-55 KPH from the NNE. At 1550 meters the temperature was -13.5, 73 % relative humidity, and the barometer is rising. Overnight 7 cm was recorded at pig alley but 15 cm has fallen in the past 24 hours, 33 in the past 48.  At the catskinner plot 6 cm was recorded over night.   In the valley it is -10.  Avalanche control yesterday produced size 1-2 slides, mostly size 1's. Maximum winds last night were 90 KPH from the NNE and through out the night switched to ESE at times. Bundle up today, wind chill values as of 06:00 were -33.

For the updated Avalanche Advisory click here: Avalanche Advisory
For another clip showing a ski lift being hit by a large avalanche click here: Russian Avalanche

Another clip of a large climax slide: Slow & Steady


5 Mar 2012

East facing slopes certainly can be triggered with the right conditions and the sun is already strong enough to create avalanches.  After this next storm when it gets nice out start watching for solar aspects to move.

As of 06:00 Hrs at 2280 meters the temperature was -6, winds were 55-75 KPH from the SSE. Maximum gust over night was 86 KPH. At 1550 meters the temperature was - 4, 98.5 % relative humidity and the barometer was dropping. At cat skinner weather plot 19 cm was recorded at 06:00, at pig alley 15 cm had been  recorded at 05:30.  By the time you read this the 20 cm rule will be in effect.  In the valley it is +1. With the snow and winds size 2 avalanches are probable for today.

For the updated Avalanche Advisory click here: Avalanche Advisory

Footage from the passengers perspective of the avalanche in France: Passengers Perspective

Some more footage from the avalanche in France, evacuation of the people left on the lift: Lift Evac
Some footage from an Avalanche in Ontario, language warning, its a bit long: Ontario

More intel on the Duffy slide on Saturday, a second party helped rescue the individual who was injured. Main injury was a concussion. Other parties reported that it was likely a 30 cm fracture as they were finding that in their observations and staying out of the alpine terrain.

Yet another fatality south of the border yesterday: Near Moab

Here is a news article from the day before this incident: Avalanche Conditions

4 Mar 2012

Old picture of an avalanche coming off Phalnax Ridge.

At 2280 meters the temperature was -4, winds 55-65 KPH from the South as of 06:00. At 1550 meters the temperature was - .35, 87 % relative humidity and the barometer is dropping, 1 cm of new snow at pig alley. In the valley it is +4.  The freezing level should continue to come down as the day progresses. Moist snow down to 30 cm at tree line. Yesterday the maximum temperatures were +1.8 at Pig Alley at 12:00, -1.5 at the round house at 16:45. On Blackcomb maximum temperatures were +1.6 at Catskiner at 15:15 and -1.7 at the Alpine Shop at 15:15.

For  the latest Avalanche Advisory click here:Avalanche Advisory

For a CAA video on Avalanche Control click here: Avalanche Control Techniques

Another Avalanche fatality in the Lake Tahoe area, for the US that's 23 so far this season, Click here : Lake Tahoe

For a review on the compression test click here: Compression Test

Large wet climax slide destroys chairlift, 41 rescued. Click here:  France

Another avalanche on the Duffy yesterday, Vantage Peak. The incident occurred around 12:00 on Saturday March 3,2012. Several groups were ski touring in the Cerise Creek cabin area. A group of 4 were at the 2000m elevation on a steep NW facing slope of Vantage Peak running out to the toe of the Anniversary Glacier. The slide took one of the party 2-3 hundred meters down in a size 1.5 avalanche and was injured, partially buried and in the end self evacuated.  Visibility was bad so these are estimates , debris 60 m wide with a crown line from 20-30 cm.  By the time a helicopter reached the scene at 15:30 hours the individual had reached the high way and was taken to the Pemberton Clinic.  Any other information would be appreciated. 

3 Mar 2012

Many snowmobilers are getting into the back country these days. The trend seems to be more people are sled skiing\boarding.

At 2280 meters the temperature was - 5.5, winds were 55-85 KPH from the South as of 06:00. At 1550 meters the temperature was - 1, relative humidity was 88 %, and the barometer is falling slightly. 1 cm recorded at cat skinner and 2 cm fell at pig alley last night.  In the valley it is +1. With those winds it certainly will slab up in exposed areas.

For the latest Avalanche Advisory click here: Avalanche Advisory

For an interesting read on a Swiss Avalanche event last year click here: Swiss Incident

Jordan Manley creates a great documentary on avalanche control : BC Highways

Report on a fatality south of our border: February 27, 2012


2 Mar 2012

Another stellar day yesterday, lots of fast groomers and soft snow to be had! Thirteen people did not have such a great day. Read below!


At 2280 meters the temperature was - 11, winds were 25-45 KPH from the South. At 1550 meters the temperature was - 6, 88 % relative humidity and the barometer is falling slightly.   1 cm of new snow fell over night.  In the valley it is 0. Observations taken at 07:00.

For the latest Avalanche Advisory click below:
Avalanche Advisory



If you have an older snow pulse air bag system click here: Snow Pulse


Some interesting information about avalanches during the first world war:

During World War I, an estimated 40,000 to 80,000 soldiers died as a result of avalanches during the mountain campaign in the Alps at the Austrian-Italian front, many of which were caused by artillery fire. Some 10,000 men, from both sides, lost their lives in avalanches in December 1916. However, it is very doubtful avalanches were used deliberately at the tactical level as weapons; more likely they were simply a side effect to shelling enemy troops, occasionally adding to the toll taken by the artillery. Avalanche prediction is nearly impossible; forecasters can only assert the conditions, terrain and relative likelihood of slides with the help of detailed weather reports and from localized snowpack observation. It would be almost impossible to predict avalanche conditions many miles behind enemy lines, making it impossible to intentionally target a slope at risk for avalanches. Also, high priority targets received continual shelling and would be unable to build up enough unstable snow to form devastating avalanches, effectively imitating the avalanche prevention programs at ski resorts.
Thirteen less people skiing today as a result of skiing in the lakeside permanent closure. They were all pass holders and the unfortunate issue with loosing your pass for a year is,  that also means loosing your bike park privileges.  For more information on permanent closures refer to the January 12 Th post.

1 Mar 2012

Fresh snow is always welcomed!!

As of 06:00 the temperature at 2280 meters was -13, winds were 15-20 KPH from the West. At 1550 meters the temperature was -9.5, 95 % humidity and the barometer is dropping slightly. 1 cm of new over night.  In the valley it is -3.
Still getting releases on the stellars that are down between 30-50 cm. Size 1's still possible with a slow gain in strength.

Thanks to Lee Lau for forwarding this report from last Saturday:






Date
2012-02-25
Location
Duffey Lake, South side of NE ridge, Mt Chief Pascal
Location Description

Province
BC
Mountain Range
Coast Mountains
Coordinates
0 122.442 Lat/Long Decimal Degrees
Elevation
1760m
Activity
Backcountry Skiing
Involvement
2
Injury
2
Fatality
0
Description
Whumph occurred @ 1300hrs, on ascent, 4 skiers climbing slope, ~ 20m from ridge crest. Skiers on south east side of NE ridge of Mt. Chief Pascal, approx. 1760m, approx size class 1.5 Skier 1 carried less than 5m, pushed into trees, partially buried, minor injuries. Skier 2 carried ~10m, pushed into trees, partially buried, fractured lower leg. Skiers 3 & 4 not buried. Skiers self rescued using rescue sled & improvised ski sled. ~ 25 cm of new snow fell between 1300 & 2300, back @ car @ 23:30.

For the updated Avalanche Advisory click here:
Avalanche Advisory


From the CAA a new scale to view: CAA