16 Mar 2017

March 16, 2017


    4 Ski Tourers died in an avalanche in the Austrian Alps. Story in article section.               Net Pic

    An avalanche near Lake Louise has buried 2 snowshoers, still not recovered.      Story below.

    Cornice release Sz 3 North West of Whistler, some large natural avalanches observed yesterday.

    Locally, Avalanche control produced some cornice releases with Sz 1-1.5 ssl 10-20 cm.


    Wednesday morning  March 15, 2017.

    Cool light in the morning.

    Went to the blue for a while.

    Unsettled in the morning.

    Variable surfaces on Wednesday. Warmed up in the afternoon for some spring like conditions.

    Wednesday morning, 09:45 Hrs.

    Clouded over in the late afternoon.

    Light snow and no wind at 1860 meters-16:30 Hrs.

Weather Observations for March 18, 2017: taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters      -7, Winds were 25-40 KPH S--Horstman Hut 
2180 meters      -8, Winds were 35-50 KPH S--Whistler Peak
1860 meters      -7, Winds were 15-30 KPH S--Rendevous
1835 meters      -6, Winds were 15-40 KPH S--Roundhouse
1650 meters      -5, 10 cm of new snow, 10 cm in 24 hrs, 290 cm Base, RH 87%  --Pig Alley
1550 meters      -5, 12 cm of new snow, 12 cm in 24 hrs, 217 cm Base, RH 90 %  --Catskinner 
  660 meters     +1, Valley Temp, Max Temp Yesterday was +9.1, 5.4 mm of Precip recorded yest

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


A weak front in a Westerly flow will bring light snowfall to the area later today with the chance of it ramping up tonight with some heavy snowfall. The Fl should max out at around 1000 meters this afternoon and hover there into Friday. There are conflicts in the various models, uncertainty
exists in what may happen over night. Unsettled weather this morning becoming cloudier during the afternoon. Another frontal band is expected for Friday afternoon, ramping up Friday night. Saturday is looking overcast with some light to moderate snowfall with the FL starting at 1200 meters but dropping to surface by the evening. Sunday at this time is looking unsettled, with a weak high pressure building into early next week.
Guesstimates: 10-30 cm by Friday morning, 10-20 cm by Saturday morning, 10-20 cm by Sunday morning.

    GOES IR image from this am.

    Weak front for today. But the low may mush heavy precipitation into our zone tonight.

    Stronger front Friday night into Saturday.

    Drying trend for Sunday into Monday.

    Ridge of high pressure Monday.

   Another nice day Tuesday.


                                                                                                                          Jeff Van Driel Image

Skied in the Rohr area today under scattered skies, light SW winds, no precip and mild temperatures.
Cooling at the end of the storm gave us 3-5cm to overlay the 20cm of moist snow in the alpine. Sun effect kept the surface 20cm moist to 2200m on solar aspects. Mod-strong overnight winds left us with scouring and soft sastrugi at ridgetop, and isolated soft slab in lee features. Good skiing on polar aspects to 1850m where the breakable crust persists down to 1450m where it softens up. 
We observed four isolated natural size 3 slab avalanches, most stepping down, likely triggered last night by precipitation and cornice fall. Two were observed on south aspects and two were on northeast aspects all in the 1950m-2200m range with crown line depths averaging 100cm with one close to 200cm. See photos.
We dug a test pit at 2180m on a SSE aspect with a height of snow of 310cm and got a CTE 6 RP down 14cm on preserved stellars size 3mm, a CTM 15 RP down 34cm also on stellars size 3mm, and a  CTH 30 SP down 119cm on rounding facets size 2mm on the Feb 15 interface. DTN on this layer.
Enjoy the spring weather. 
Cheers Jeff

                                                                                                                      Jeff van Driel Image

    Rimed chairs on the Solar Coaster.

    When the sun came out the snow became soft.

    Convective cloud development in the afternoon.

    The big picture of the avalanche in Austria. Yes those are helicopters.

    All the victims in the Austrian avalanche ended up on this bench. Article blow.

    Deep burials require alot of human shovelers. One victim was 12 meters deep.


RCMP say two American snowshoers presumed dead in an avalanche: Lake Louise

Four fatalities after an avalanche in the Austrian Alps: Jochyrubkopf, Tyrol

Missing tourist found after avalanche: Norway

Avalanche terminology for Tahoe Residents: What you need to know!!

Love & Life-Avalanche Survivor: Powder Canada

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