3 Jan 2017

January 3, 2017


   An avalanche in the Teton Range has killed a snowboarder, story in article section.     Net Pic

    Heli Bombing Monday produced a few Sz 1's, but mostly holes.

    Heli Bombing Hole, on reverse loaded slope.

    Shooting crack January 1, 2017--Surfs Up                                                            Cole Reade Pic

    Many Na (natural) Sz 1-2.5 wind slabs noted to our North and some to our South. 
    Check out observations below.


    First light on a cold windy Monday, January 2, 2017.

    Some great colours in the morning.

    Spindrift off Phalanx Ridge.

    Image from Monday morning.

    Spindrift continuous into the later part of the day.

    Alpen glow Monday evening.


Weather Observations for January 3, 2017: taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters   -21, Winds were 20-40 KPH N     --Horstman Hut 
2180 meters   -22, Winds were 50-90 KPH NW  --Whistler Peak
1860 meters   -19, Winds were 30-50 KPH NNE--Rendevous
1835 meters   -19, Winds were 30-50 KPH NNE--Roundhouse
1650 meters   -19, 0 cm of new snow, 0 cm in 24 hrs, 198 cm Base, RH 82%  --Pig Alley
1550 meters   -17, 0 cm of new snow, 0 cm in 24 hrs, 119 cm Base, RH 60%  --Catskinner 
  660 meters   -13, Valley Temp, Max Temp Yesterday was -6.5, 0.0 mm of Precip recorded yest

If you were on the Whistler Peak at 06:00 Hrs this am with -22 and 70 KPH wind the wind chill would be -40. Thats cold!!!!


High pressure with a dry arctic air mass will continue into Thursday in a Northerly Flow Aloft. We can expect cold temperatures again today with strong gusty outflow winds. By Wednesday we should see the temperatures begin to slowly warm up. Inversions are possible with the cold air trapped in the valley and winds may abate. A cold upper low will move down the coast on Friday and slowly move South through the weekend into early next week. Models are not agreeing on precipitation rates so time will tell. In the mean time bundle up and keep any exposed skin covered.

   Blocking Pattern will continue into Thursday.

   Dry and cold for today.

    Another sunny dry day for Wednesday.

    High pressure prevails for Thursday with moderating temperatures.

   A weak front for Friday.

   Saturday into Sunday will produce some snow.

   Low affecting our area next week is looking interesting.

   Certainly more snow on the way!!


Snowboarder killed after cornice failure triggers an avalanche: Teton Range, Wyoming

Snowmobiler buried in avalanche near Valemount, B.C. spurs warning about helping: Global News

Lack of snow chills French Ski Resorts: The National

New Years resolution for backcountry skiers: Backcountry Skiing Canada

Avalanche Assessments from around the US--Week of January 2, 2017: Backcountry Magazine


Skied on Rohr Ridge today. Moderate to extreme NE winds redistributing snow at all elevations forming windslab, hardslab and sastrugi. 
Slab depth is 10-30cm on average. Mid December facets are down 40-70cm made up of 20-30cm of facets size 2-3mm. November crust is down 90-120cm. 
Test pit at 2100m SW aspect produced a number of Compression and Extended Column Test results. Windslab down 15cm produced easy, mostly resistant test results. Mid December facets down 50cm produced a mix of moderate resistant and sudden results. Nov CR down 90cm is starting to produced moderate to hard results.
We observed several recent slab avalanches up to size 2.5 primarily on SW aspects 1900m and above likely triggered by loading from the NE Arctic Outflow winds. Large plumes of snow  were blowing off the peaks and ridges south of Duffey Lake Road all day. Regardless, most aspects have been affected by the winds creating variable, unpredictable ski quality even into some areas below treeline. The hunt for sheltered snow is on! 


                                                                                                                                  Jeff Van Driel Pic

                                                                                                                                  Jeff Van Driel Pic

                                                                                                                                Jeff Van Driel Pic

   Stiff slabs even in the treeline.

    Wind transported snow off Horstman Peak. A lot of snow is sublimating.

   Sastrugi is wide spread.

   B2 used for Heli Bombing Monday morning.

   Trees are very rimed at the 1750 meter level.

   Thick wind slab is forming in many areas.

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