5 Jan 2014

January 5, 2014

First light Saturday morning.

One of the few clouds in the sky above Whistler yesterday, it was eventually evaporated by the sun.

Surface Hoar Factory.

Large Surface Hoar growing at 1000 meters, West aspect.

Size 2 avalanche from January 3, in Glacier Bowl East Face Xe.

Nice light January 4, 2014 Dominic Balik Photo

The end of the day yesterday, looks like a repeat today.

Weather observations for January 5, 2014, taken at 06:00 Hrs.

2240 meters     -4, winds were 10-15 KPH from the SW
2180 meters     -4, winds were 10-15 KPH from the SSW
1860 meters     -1, winds were 5-10 KPH from the ESE
1835 meters     -2, winds were 5-10 KPH from the ESE
1650 meters     -5, no new snow, Base 110 cm
1550 meters     -2, no new snow, Base 79 cm
  660 meters     -5 , Valley Temp

For the forecast we will have sunny skies for today with a bit of cloud as the Northwest flow aloft and the high pressure remains in our zone. The ridge will move inland tonight but we still should see mostly sunny skies tomorrow morning with increased clouds in the afternoon as a very weak front approaches and affects our area into Tuesday. The models are coming to some agreement that Wednesday through Saturday will bring light to moderate precipitation as a succession of fronts move through the area. We may be seeing a change in the pattern to more seasonable conditions. No guesses on snow amounts yet, but we could be looking at 50-70 cm by next Saturday. Heavy snow may arrive for Friday evening.

Its a long way out, but next Saturday looks juicy! Lets ope this is a shift in the pattern!!

High Avalanche Danger issued by the GNFAC: Montana

High Avalanche Alert for Western Alberta: CBC News

Out of Bounds skier triggers avalanche near Lake Louise: The Loop

Local Vancouver Ski Hills and businesses plaqued by the lack of snow: BC Global

Link to Jon Turner's images from avalanche in the Spearhead on January 3, 2014; Further info from the grape vine, the individuals on the slope were doing a snow profile when the avalanche occurred which is why they were looking for gear: Guide's Notch Avalanche

Wayne - as requested a couple pictures of the slide I saw today.  I didn't talk to anybody that witnessed it, but saw people ski away with gear.  Here is some of the information I was able to gather third hand:
·         1- 2 people involved.  I witnessed 1 person on the debris gathering / looking for gear.
·         Looked like a party of 3-5.  See in pictures 1 person at start of debris fan and 2 people on the ridge
·         Crown line up to 1 m deep at the apex in the rocks.  Looked to be about 100 wide and ran 250 to 300 m.
·         Looked to be a size 2
·         Debris piled up in a terrain trap (dish like compression), hard to estimate depth from a distance. 
·         Although there was rock exposed on the bed surface, I think it failed at storm snow facet interface and pulled into / entrained facets into the slide.

Hopefully this is helpful.
Jon Turner
Heard the crown in the rocks was 1.4 meters deep.

Rob Rainer Photos Luckily no one went for a ride through the rocks.

Some observations from Chris Tull from yesterday: January 4 Th

Hi Wayne,

Our plan for today was to ski main chute on Decker. We observed a natural size 1.5 further down the WSW ridge in a similar aspect chute as main chute that looked fresh. I also felt and heard a rapid settlement in the snow pack as we were skinning. Changing our plans accordingly we decided to skin over to disease ridge. We felt two more rapid settlements on a south aspect slope, one producing extensive shooting cracks. I did a quick hand sheer test and got very easy results (slid while cutting) down 5cm (wind slab) and got easy results down 25-30cm (planer sheer).

Thanks for the great blog!

Chris Trull

Not much cloud to the South of Whistler yesterday.

Blackcomb has a full water reservoir again, lets hope it stays cold!! 

Lots of rime on Whistler Mountain.

Snowmaking on School Marm.

Thats a pile of rime!

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